As the legal case against his killer moves through the court system, the first scholarships honoring a promising college student slain this past winter have been awarded to three students at Piedmont Virginia Community College.
PVCC announced the trio of awards last month honoring Nicklous Pendleton, who was gunned down in late February as he was driving a truck down Hardy Drive in Charlottesville.
“We are deeply grateful to have the opportunity to partner with Nicklous Pendleton’s family and friends to honor his legacy in such a meaningful way,” PVCC Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Development Harry Stillerman said in a statement.
A 2021 graduate of Louisa County High School who enrolled at PVCC to pursue a degree in business administration, Pendleton was remembered by his would-be mother-in-law Dana Cherry as a hard worker.
"He would’ve owned a successful business one day," Cherry wrote in a Daily Progress letter to the editor. "You just knew that."
The first three winners of scholarships in Pendleton’s name are all Louisa County High graduates and include $500 scholarship recipient Katelynn Jones, who plans to transfer to Virginia Tech with hopes of becoming a social media manager for an NFL team.
“I am grateful and incredibly honored to receive the Pendleton Scholarship," Jones said in a statement. "By reducing the financial impact on my education, this scholarship will allow me to focus more on my studies.”
The other two awards were $2,000 to Alysonne Harris, a young paramedic with dreams of a Navy career, and $500 to Morgan Gregory, who has expressed interest in becoming an educator.
On the day the awards were announced, Oct. 12, the man accused of killing Pendleton appeared via video feed in the courtroom of the Charlottesville General District Court. Dressed in a jail jumpsuit, Raymaqu’a Antonio Nicholas, now 20, answered questions from Judge Andrew Sneathern.
Just a few utterances of "Yes, sir" and "No, sir" from Nicholas gave Sneathern the approval he needed to let him waive his right to a preliminary hearing and instead let a grand jury, slated to meet in mid-December, consider the charges against him.
Nicholas, who was 19 at the time of the slaying, has been charged with second-degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He has been held without bail at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail since his March 8 arrest.
The Charlottesville Police Department alleged that the shooting took place in the 800 block of Hardy Drive on the afternoon of Feb. 22. The gunfire appeared to have penetrated the pickup truck that Pendleton was driving. He succumbed to his injuries later that day at the University of Virginia Medical Center, according to police.