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Virginia security guard convicted of murdering Pokémon Go player

Posted at 4:23 PM, Mar 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-01 23:19:46-05

CHESAPEAKE, Va. -- A Virginia security guard was convicted Friday of murdering a man playing Pokémon Go in a Chesapeake neighborhood, WTKR reported. A jury found Johnathan Cromwell, 23, guilty of second-degree murder and using a firearm to commit murder.

Cromwell shot and killed 60-year-old Jiansheng Chen on January 26, 2017.

Cromwell, who was working as a security guard in the Riverwalk neighborhood, shot Chen -- who was driving a minivan when he was shot.

Prosecutors said Chen was playing Pokémon Go on private property near the clubhouse the night he was killed. Cromwell's legal team said the security guard had barred Chen from the area 10 days prior to the shooting and argued Cromwell acted in self-defense because Chen was driving at him.

Chen was shot at least five times.

Prosecutors said evidence showed Cromwell fired through the driver’s window initially. They told the jury Cromwell could have moved out of the way, but instead wanted to confront Chen and put himself in harm’s way to do that.

Cromwell, through tears, told the jury his younger brother died four months before this incident after getting in a bad car accident. He said his fear that night was that his mother would have to bury another son.

Cromwell is scheduled to be sentenced next week.