Suspects in Kevin Quick slaying will not face death penalty

Posted at 7:44 PM, Nov 16, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-16 23:15:46-05

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. – The three siblings and man charged in connection with the death of a Waynesboro reserve police captain will not face the death penalty, according to a report from a Charlottesville newspaper.

Kevin Quick's body was found on Feb. 6 in rural Goochland County six days after the 45-year-old vanished after leaving his mother’s Afton home.

Click HERE for complete coverage of the Kevin Quick case.

Click HERE for complete coverage of the Kevin Quick case.

The Daily Progress reports that federal prosecutors stated that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder took the death penalty off the table for four of the six suspects. As a result, Daniel Mathis, Mersadies Shelton, Shantai Shelton and Kweli Uhuru will now face life in prison for their alleged crimes.

Timothy J. Heaphy, who is prosecuting the case against the four, said he has faith in Holder's decision.

“I know the attorney general takes these cases very seriously,” Heaphy told The Daily Progress. “[Holder] reviews each potential death penalty case at his kitchen table, often late at night."

Kevin Quick suspects: Daniel Mathis, Shantai Shelton, Mersadies Shelton and Kweli Uhuru

Daniel Mathis, Shantai Shelton, Mersadies Shelton and Kweli Uhuru

“It’s always harder to get a death penalty conviction because a lot of people don’t like the death penalty,” CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone said. “There are statistics that show that it is more expensive and it draws out the appeal process so much longer.”

Additionally, two other man, 22-year-old Halisi Uhuru of Danville and 31-year-old Darnell Stokes Jr. of Manassas, were charged with Principle 2nd Degree Capital Murder During Abduction. That charge is different from Capital Murder in that it is not punishable by the death penalty, but by life in prison.

Criminal Past: Darnell Stokes Jr.  and Halisi Uhuru

Darnell Stokes Jr. and Halisi Uhuru

 A CBS 6 investigation revealed that  Stokes and Uhuru (also known as Gert Wright) were recently released from prison.

In fact, Stokes spent 12 years, nearly half of his life in prison for crimes he committed when he was just 19. He was convicted on possession of a weapon, robbery, kidnapping and use of a firearm charges. He was released in October of 2012.

Court records show that at age 14, Uhuru was arrested under the name Gert Arthur Wright III.  That arrest took place in Oct. 2005, in Waynesboro where Quick served as a reservist police captain. He was released in December of 2013.

An indictment unsealed in May alleged that the people who carjacked, kidnapped and killed Quick were members of  the 99 Goon Syndikat,” a central Virginia street gang started in November 2009 linked to the notorious Bloods from Los Angeles. Gang members allegedly robbed stores and sold drugs in the weeks and months leading up to the murder.

The suspects killed Quick “for the purpose of gaining entrance to and maintaining and increasing position in the enterprise, an enterprise engaged in racketeering activity,” the indictments read.

Two other suspects, Leslie Casterlow and Anthony White, pleaded guilty to crimes associated with Quick's murder in July.

Casterlow pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice.  White pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge.

The remaining suspects are scheduled to go on trial on May 4.

Stay with and CBS 6 News for updates on this important local story.