Covington man guilty of murder
Dedric Sherrod convicted in decade-old murder case

SUFFOLK, Va. - Dedric Sherrod of Covington has been found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Melik Powell 10 years ago, according to the Virginian-Pilot newspaper.

The trial was the result of the city's first case solved by Suffolk Police Department's Cold Case Investigation Squad. Sherrod, whose address according to jail records was 5179 Tew Lane and was last employed by BioLab, was arrested by Covington police in March and held in the Newton County Detention Center until extradition was completed.

Sherrod, 32, who broke down and sobbed after hearing the jury's verdict, was also found guilty of attempted robbery, conspiracy, using a firearm in commission of a murder, using a firearm in commission of a robbery and shoot, stab, cut or wound in commission of a felony.

After deliberating for almost four hours to consider the sentence, the jury recommended 16 years in prison for the second-degree murder charge and 14 additional years for the other charges. Formal sentencing will take place Feb. 5.

The victim was 26 on the night he died - Nov. 10, 1998. A budding rap singer, Powell was shot during a robbery at Whitemarsh Plaza Shopping Center, where he had gone to use a pay phone.

According to court testimony from five people who said they were with Sherrod or saw him that night, Sherrod acknowledged shooting his gun when Powell tried to get away from him.

Sherrod wept openly and wiped away tears during court testimony and said from the witness stand that he didn't kill Powell.

He told the victim's mother, "I had nothing to do with it. I didn't do it, Ms. Costley. I swear. I did not do it."

Linda McNatt, staff writer with The Virginian-Pilot, contributed to this story. She can be reached at 757-222-5561 or linda.mcnatt@pilotline.com.