Police have arrested and charged a Charlottesville teenager for the late February shooting that killed a young man inside a pickup truck that then crashed into a parked car in the city’s 10th & Page neighborhood.
The police department announced Thursday that 19-year-old Raymaqu’a Antonio Nicholas had been arrested on March 8 for the Feb. 22 killing of 20-year-old Gordonsville resident Nicklous Gregory Pendleton.
Nicholas is charged with second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Police said that Nicholas was taken into custody on Wednesday without incident.
Nicholas appeared in Charlottesville General District Court on Thursday morning via video feed from Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail where he is being held.
Robert Downer, a substitute judge, presided.
“Is my mom in the room?” asked Nicholas.
His mother, Alexis Rankins, was there and urged him to agree to the judge’s suggestion that an interim attorney be appointed until the family arranges its own lawyer.
“My family going to pay for it, but we need some time,” Nicholas told the judge.
During the 10-minute hearing, it was revealed Nicholas receives $700 per month in disability payments.
“I’m not granting a bond until you see an attorney,” Downer told Nicholas. “I’m going to initially appoint the public defender.”
Rankins, who told the judge that she was her son’s “overseer,” tearfully declined to offer a comment to The Daily Progress after Thursday’s hearing.
The judge set a preliminary hearing for June 1 but indicated that an attorney for Nicholas could return to court before then to seek bail.
Nicholas stands accused of shooting into a pickup truck in the 800 block of Hardy Drive in Charlottesville’s 10th & Page neighborhood. After the shooting, the truck collided with a vehicle parked on Page Street at the Hardy Drive intersection.
Pendleton, a 2021 graduate of Louisa County High School and student at Piedmont Virginia Community College, died later that day at University of Virginia Medical Center. The truck’s other occupant, his brother, suffered a broken leg in the crash, according to a witness account.
The death of Pendleton has rocked the lives of more than just his immediate family.
“Nick was the best boyfriend, the best brother, the best son, the best grandson, the best uncle, the best nephew, the best cousin, the best friend,” his longtime girlfriend’s mother, Dana Cherry, wrote in an email to The Daily Progress on Wednesday.
“He showed the utmost kindness to children, and the utmost respect to the elderly,” Cherry said in a separate Facebook post. “He was just ALL that is good.”
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