A Maryland man pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to his role in a 2010 Centreville home invasion that resulted in the death of a local man.
Tasheik Ashanti Champean pleaded guilty to a Hobbs Act conspiracy and using a weapon in a crime of violence. Prosecutors signed a plea agreement with Champean and dropped the third charge against him, possession of ammunition by a prohibited person.
Champean's trial was originally scheduled to begin Monday in U.S. District Court, but he instead appeared in court Friday to enter his plea before Judge Anthony Trenga.
During the home invasion off Compton Road, Jose Rosales Cardona, a Manassas Park handyman and immigrant from Guatemala, died trying to protect his American employers, according to police reports. The case went unsolved for over a year.
Court documents show that Champean and a second man, Reynard Prather, met up in Prince George's County, Maryland, on May 17, 2010, then drove to a shopping center in Virginia. There, they met another unidentified man, who drove them near the Compton Road home.
During the drive, Champean, who was armed with a semiautomatic pistol, "enlisted Prather in the plan to rob" the family, according to a document he signed in court. Champean gave Prather a duffel bag that held a loaded semiautomatic pistol.
One of the family members owned several check cashing stores. The three men believed that he kept the money at his home. Once they arrived, Champean and Prather saw the victim leave the home, and one of the garage doors open. They planned to wait for him to return home—but Cardona and the family's son discovered them there.
Prather and the son began to struggle, and Champean fought Cardona.
"In the midst of the struggle, a shot was fired, and Cardona fell dead to the driveway in front of the garage. Within minutes, Champean and Prather fled," the document states.
According to the terms of the plea agreement, prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia have agreed not to press any further charges against Champean in relation to the home invasion. That does not bar possible prosecution in another jurisdiction.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Champean must also provide additional information in the case and cooperate in the investigation.
Champean is scheduled for sentencing on March 1. The maximum penalty for the Hobbs Act conspiracy is 20 years in prison. For the second count, Champean faces 10 years to life in prison.
Trenga sentenced Prather to 30 years in prison earlier this year. Charges against a third man were dismissed in September 2011.
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