Roanoke man pleads not guilty, changes mind and pleads guilty to murder charge

Published: Mar. 15, 2021 at 6:01 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Roanoke City Circuit Court was supposed to have its first jury trial in over a year, one week from Monday. With a ‘not guilty’ plea from Ozmeik Clements, 18, Monday afternoon, that jury trial was still on the docket. But less than two hours later, Clements changed his mind about the plea, and accepted a deal from prosecutors.

The Commonwealth had proposed a deal to Clements that was only valid for Monday.

During Judge Clemens’s conversation with Clements, Clements was asked numerous times if he was sure he wanted to proceed with a ‘not guilty’ plea. Since Clements was 17 when he was charged with first degree murder in relation to the death of Savion Scales, as well as malicious shooting at an occupied vehicle and use of a firearm in commission of a felony, a jury could not decide Clements’ sentence. Members of the jury would have only been able to say if they found Clements guilty or not guilty, and Clemens would use sentencing guidelines, if he was found guilty.

With the plea deal, Clements has been given a 33-year sentence. 18 of those years must be served; the remaining years will be suspended. Clements will be on probation for 10 years following his release.

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