Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Murder
Cornelius I. Hayes, of Blackstone, Va., has pleaded guilty to use of a firearm in a violent crime causing the death of another. The charges stem from the murder of James Stephenson Lee in the parking lot of the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Richmond, Va.
Hayes, 55, was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of first degree murder, use of a firearm in relation to a violent crime causing the death of another, attempted murder, use of a firearm in relation to a violent crime, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He faces a maximum penalty of life.
As stated in court documents, Hayes admitted approaching Lee and a female in the parking of the Medical Center. After a brief verbal confrontation with the woman, Hayes brandished a .38 caliber revolver and shot Lee in the shoulder. Hayes chased the woman a short distance, only to return to Lee, and shoot him a second time. Lee died as a result of the gunshots fired by Hayes.
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride said, “Cornelius Hayes admitted that he shot and killed James Lee that tragic day. He now faces up to life in prison for bringing – and then using – a firearm to resolve a domestic dispute.”