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Jury convicts man of murder, firearm charges from 2021 Norfolk shooting

Crystal Graham
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A jury in Norfolk convicted a 31-year-old man for the second-degree murder of 23-year-old Tracy Eugene Bellamy Jr.

Dequan Tasean Copeland was also convicted of related firearm charges related to the 2021 shooting.

According to court documents, Bellamy and Copeland had an ongoing feud because Copeland had begun dating Bellamy’s estranged wife, with whom Bellamy shared a 2-year-old child.

On the morning of Feb. 2, 2021, Bellamy visited his estranged wife’s Calvert Square home unannounced and armed. He demanded to take his child with him and argued with Copeland, who had been sleeping over at the home.

After arguing with Copeland, Bellamy retrieved his child, walked to his car parked outside the home and placed the child in the backseat.

As Bellamy was getting into the driver’s seat of his car, Copeland, who had retrieved a firearm, shot at Bellamy several times from where he stood. Bellamy was fatally shot in his midsection by one bullet and grazed by another, and his car was struck three times. Bellamy shot back multiple times, striking no one, and attempted to drive off.

Due to injuries sustained by the gunfire, Bellamy crashed at a low rate of speed into a parked vehicle blocks away from the home. The child was not injured by the gunfire but was superficially injured in the crash due to not being properly restrained.

Bellamy’s estranged wife called 911, but Copeland took the phone and spoke to dispatch in an attempt to control the narrative of events.

Emergency responders transported Bellamy to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where he later died.

Copeland fled the Commonwealth and was taken into custody about a month later in Maricopa County, Ariz.

On Wednesday, after about two hours of deliberation, the jury found Copeland guilty of second-degree murder, using a firearm in the commission of murder, recklessly handling a firearm resulting in injury, maliciously shooting at a vehicle and unlawfully shooting at a vehicle.

Copeland is scheduled for sentencing before Judge Everett A. Martin Jr. on June 21.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.