Suspected VSU killer convicted felon on probation

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - We've also been digging deeper into the murder of a VSU student.

The suspect, 24-year-old Deondray Maddox, is charged with first degree murder in the beating death of Daron Jack. But we've learned Maddox is no stranger to police. He was just released from federal custody last week, just days before the murder.

Maddox has a long wrap sheet. Just earlier this year, he was accused in a Petersburg motel robbery. A case that wasn't prosecuted in Petersburg, because the feds wanted it. But that case, outlined in this federal indictment, was dismissed, and Maddox was set free, just last Tuesday.

On May 3, two men with a 12 gauge shotgun stormed the Knight's Inn on East Wythe Street. They made off with about $700.

Maddox and Bryan Bland were accused. Police captured Bland later that month. But Maddox, also known as "Flip", surrendered in June, a day after his face appeared on our fugitive Friday segment.

According to the Petersburg Commonwealth's Attorneys Office, it was contacted by the ATF about the U.S. Attorneys Office wanting to try the motel robbery in federal court. Last Monday, a judge dismissed the case and Maddox was released from jail the next day.

Six days later, VSU senior, Daron Jack, was dead after police say he was severely beaten by his friend Maddox during an argument. According to federal court documents: Maddox was considered not only a flight risk but dangerous.

The U.S. Attorneys Office would not comment on the reasoning for the motel robbery case dismissal because the investigation is ongoing.

"It's very tempting to say well if the feds hadn't dismissed their prosecution and continued to hold him perhaps tragedy might have been averted, but we're just jumping to conclusions, we're assuming he was guilty of the robbery for which the federal authorities declined prosecution," said NBC12 Legal Analyst Steven Benjamin.

But Maddox is a convicted felon. He pleaded guilty to a Petersburg robbery in 2003, served nearly 7 years, then this April was released from prison on intensive supervised probation. A probation violation landed Maddox back in jail-- now on a first degree murder charge.

"Short of someone being incarcerated you can't possibly keep an eye on them 24/7 so we can't fault the probation efforts whatever they were," said Benjamin.

Benjamin says both the state and the feds could bring back the robbery charges against Maddox. As for the murder charge, a court date has not been set.

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