In 2020, Anthony J. Slayton, was found guilty of shooting at police officers who were patrolling the streets around a public housing complex in Richmond and was sentenced to nine years in prison. Two years later, the Virginia appeals court has upheld the conviction, dismissing his argument the evidence presented at his trial was insufficient to support his convictions.
According to court records, three Richmond detectives were in plain clothes and riding in an unmarked SUV in August 2020 when they heard that police units had been dispatched to Mosby Court for a shooting incident. As they drove to the scene, their vehicle was hit by at least seven gunshots from a passing car. One of the bullets shattered the windshield and grazed the shoulder of one officer, who was also hit by fragments of shattered glass. The suspects’ car was stopped just moments later by another officer, who recovered two loaded handguns hidden underneath the floor mat of the front passenger seat where Slayton had been sitting. A forensics expert linked the guns to casings found at the crime scene and a bullet recovered from the police vehicle. None of the officers in the car were seriously harmed at the time of the incident.
Slayton argued on appeal that the evidence was insufficient to support a finding that he was the shooter, however the appeals court said Slayton’s hypothesis that he switched places with another passenger just after the shooting, or that the driver shot across him out of the passenger’s side window, were not supported by the evidence or any reasonable inferences.
Also convicted were the driver and the rest of the passengers in the car along with Slayton, all of whom received three to seven year sentences for their involvement in this senseless attack.