Newport News VA Nov 18 2017 A federal judge on Thursday sentenced a former Denbigh High School security guard to life behind bars in a 2009 gang killing and other violent crimes.
U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen sentenced Michael Hopson, now 40, of Newport News, for ordering the slaying of Enrique D. Shaw, a 19-year-old former Denbigh High School student, for his “perceived disloyalty” to Hopson’s fledgling street gang, the “Black P-Stones.”
Federal prosecutors said Hopson recruited members, collected dues, presided at meetings and organized marijuana distribution. He used his security officer job at Denbigh to further the gang “by recruiting minors and selling narcotics to high school students,” prosecutors said.
They said Hopson ordered at least three other hits, two of them resulting in people being wounded.
At a December 2016 trial, a jury convicted Hopson of racketeering conspiracy; murder in aid of racketeering; two counts of conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering; and a marijuana distribution charge, while acquitting him of a shooting charge.
Hopson faced a mandatory two life terms under federal sentencing laws.
On Thursday, Wright Allen gave him those two life terms, to be served concurrently. She gave him 25 years in prison on the other two conspiracy charges — also to be served concurrently — and five years for the marijuana crime.
Hopson’s attorney, Andrew Protogyrou, gave notice to the court after the hearing that his client intends to appeal the convictions.
Court documents agreed to by prosecutors and Hopson’s co-defendants last year say that Hopson gave another P-Stones gang member, Darius Crenshaw, the green light to kill Shaw because they thought he was cooperating with a rival gang.
On Nov. 7, 2009, the court documents said, Crenshaw lured Shaw out of his family’s home near Tillerson Drive in Denbigh, then shot him to death. Crenshaw then called Hopson to report “that the killing … was carried out,” with Crenshaw then getting promoted within the P-Stones street gang for his actions, court records state.
Crenshaw, 31, of Newport News, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy charges in a November 2016 plea bargain, with prosecutors agreeing to ask for no more than 40 years. He was sentenced in March to 35 years behind bars.
All six defendants initially indicted in the 2013 case have been convicted. Hopson — who prosecutors said was the group’s leader — was the only one to go to trial, with the rest signing plea agreements.
Hopson’s trial featured stories of armed young men burglarizing homes to support drug purchases, and quickly shooting at rival gang members over turf battles. Prosecutors say the P-Stones members were involved in several other killings, attempted murders, and robberies over several years.
That includes the Oct. 16, 2010, slaying of Samuel S. Aaron in a home invasion in his Roanoke Avenue home — as gang members tried to rob the pot dealer. Aaron, 51, whose daughter was sleeping upstairs, pleaded for his life before being shot in the head.
Another P-Stones gang-member, Rico Rashad Jones, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in June 2012 in Newport News Circuit Court, and was sentenced in January 2016 to 25 years.
The killings also included the November 2010, slaying of Ernest James Crudup, 20, at an apartment complex on River Road, near the Newport News shipyard. Crudup was killed after one of his best friends, a former P-Stones gang member, accused him of stealing pot from him.