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11 December 2023

Man sentenced to 63 years for $3 drug debt killing

Photo: Getty


A man lost his life last year for what prosecutors in Virginia said was a $3 drug debt.

The man convicted of first-degree murder in the death has been sentenced to 63 years in prison.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that a circuit court judge on Friday imposed the jury’s recommended punishment for 21-year-old J’Quan Malik Vinston in the slaying of 32-year-old Joshua David Williams.

Prosecutor Christopher Young said Vinston and 18-year-old Isaiah L. Smith refused to give Williams more time to come up with the $3 he owed on a $20 rock of crack cocaine.

Police haven’t established who pulled the trigger. Smith is set to go on trial in April.

Vinston’s lawyer Nicholas Hobbs says the lower end of sentencing guidelines, 21 years, would have been “a just sentence.”