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Virginia man gets life for ‘drug cartel-style’ killing

December 9, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Virginia man gets life for ‘drug cartel-style’ killing

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A man from New Church, Virginia, was sentenced to life behind bars without the possibility of parole in the 2016 “drug cartel-style” execution of a man from Pocomoke City man.

In August, 36-year-old Anthony Tunnell had been convicted of first-degree murder after a two-day trial for his participation in the shooting death of James Allen II, 26, on December 1st, 2016.

Allen was shot once in the back before he collapsed, according to the state’s attorney’s office said during the trial, and evidence from the crime scene, including shell casings and a ski mask, revealed that the slaying was premeditated.

Tunnell was taken into custody at a hotel in Salisbury hotel ten days after the incident.

Before the trial, the Office of the State’s Attorney for Worcester County had announced that they were seeking a sentence of life without parole, WBOC reported.

Anthony Tunnel (Photo: Image by Wicomico County Detention Center)

During his sentencing on December 1st, Deputy State’s Attorney Bill McDermott asked that Tunnell be given the maximum punishment allowed under Maryland law, a press release from the state’s attorney’s revealed.

“Tunnell orchestrated and successfully effectuated a calculated, cold-blooded cartel-style assassination because he believed someone stole his marijuana supply,” McDermott said as he addressed the court.

“Mr. Tunnell decided to be judge, jury, and executioner, and as James Allen will never breathe again, a sentence of life without the parole will ensure that Anthony Tunnell never harms another person in our community.”

Before declaring the sentence, Worcester County Circuit Court Judge Richard R. Bloxom said that Tunnell traveled to Worcester County with the intention “to assassinate James Allen.”

The judge added that one of the purposes of sentencing is to defend the community from people like Tunnell and that the sentence of life without the possibility of parole would achieve that goal.

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