UPDATE: Solomon charged with abduction; another man arrested

Michael Solomon
Michael Solomon
Alphonzo Richardson
Alphonzo Richardson

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan – email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Two big developments in the investigation into the murder of Richmond mother, Tameka Claiborne.

Michael Solomon, 28, the man prosecutors call the prime suspect in Claiborne's murder, was charged today with abducting her 3-year-old son. Also, a second person was arrested in connection with her death.

Prosecutors today filed a charge of child abduction against Solomon this morning in Richmond Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. Investigators say Solomon abducted then abandoned Claiborne's son, Malik Ellison, 3.

Prosecutor say they are taking their time and slowly building their case in Claiborne's murder. No one has been officially charged with her murder, but Commonwealth's Attorney Michael Herring said that day is coming.

It's a week-long investigation that's spanned across three counties and two cities.

"I owe a lot to the investigators who really worked miracles to get us to where we are now," Herring said.

On Tuesday, Claiborne's son was found wandering in a Chesterfield apartment complex. Five days later, police found Claiborne's body on the banks of the James River.

"We know that the young boy had to be transported from point A to point B," Herring said. "And some information came to light to link to Mr. Solomon to that transport."

Over the weekend police found Solomon's missing Chevy Malibu in Hopewell.

"There was some evidence that the car was moved back and forth between jurisdictions," said Thomas Johnson, Richmond Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney.

Prosecutors say they plan to charge Solomon with murder. They are also looking into whether anyone else could have been involved.

"I'm definitely encouraged that we do have the person responsible for her death," Herring said. "The question now is how wide is the net."

The net apparently includes Alphonzo Richardson, 32, of Petersburg. He was picked up over the weekend and charged with unlawful disposal of a body, a felony; and accessory after the fact to murder, a misdemeanor. Richardson was arrested over the weekend and is lodged in the Richmond City Jail.

Sources say Claiborne was stabbed to death. Prosecutors say they are now trying to figure out the timeline.

"Piecing that together is tough and that's why we're taking out time with that," Herring said.

Solomon turned himself over to Richmond police Friday. He has not been charged with any other crime linked to the homicide.

Authorities confirmed Saturday they're investigating the Claiborne's death as a murder, so far Solomon has not been charged with anything else relating to the incident.

Abduction is a class five felony that could bring one to 10 years in prison if he is found guilty.

More charges expected. He is currently being held without bond in the Richmond City Jail on two prior charges not directly related to the investigation -- failure to pay child support and a weapons charge in Hopewell.

Solomon is expected back in court Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m.

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