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Albemarle County man pleads guilty

An Albemarle County man pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and felon in possession of a firearm Friday.

Bryan Garick Hatcher was arrested in November after police responded to reports of a single shot being fired in the 800 block of Orangedale Avenue in Charlottesville.

According to a new release from Commonwealth’s Attorney Joseph Platania, Hatcher pleaded guilty Friday in Charlottesville Circuit Court.

In November, police officers at the scene found a man lying on the ground with an apparent gunshot wound and performed CPR until rescue personnel arrived. That man was later identified as Tiewan Levert Benston, 41, of Charlottesville, and he was transported to the University of Virginia Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

According to the release, a witness who had called police said she had seen a visibly intoxicated man leave the scene. That description was used to detain Hatcher, whom the witness then positively identified.

Hatcher told detectives that he had been riding in a vehicle with Benston when he could not find his wallet, police said. He accused Benston of stealing his wallet and a physical altercation ensued during which Hatcher shot Benston one time.

Hatcher is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 10, 2022. He faces a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.


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