Johnathan Cromwell, a former security guard in Virginia accused of killing a 60-year-old grandfather playing Pokémon Go, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
On January 26, 2017, Chinese immigrant Jiansheng Chen was shot multiple times by Cromwell while he was out playing the popular GPS-based mobile game, Pokémon Go. Chen, who had taken to playing the game to bond with his grandchildren, died at the scene after getting shot four times in his upper left chest and once in his left upper arm. The local police confirmed that the victim was unarmed.
Cromwell was found guilty of second-degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony back in March 2019. The jury recommended then that Cromwell receives jail time for three decades.
On Monday, the judge agreed with that recommendation, NBC reports.
Cromwell’s defense attorney Andrew Sacks said they plan to make an appeal, noting that he finds the sentence excessive “because he’s not guilty.”
“While no sentence would ever take away the pain and loss of the Chen family, I hope that some closure occurred for them this morning,” Nancy Parr, the commonwealth’s attorney, was quoted as saying.
Cromwell had argued that he shot the victim in self-defense as Chen allegedly drove his van at him on the night of the incident.
Prosecutors, however, pointed out that Cromwell had purposely put himself in front of Chen’s vehicle in a bid to intimidate him.