HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Jurors deliberating in the trial of Roland Anderson Thursday found him not guilty of murdering his neighbor in 2017. Despite the not guilty verdict, Anderson was found guilty of robbery and sentenced to six years.
The 12 jurors had been deliberating since noon Thursday and informed the judge in the case they could not reach a unanimous verdict on the charges for murder and robbery around 3:30 p.m.
Anderson was arrested two weeks after his neighbor, 41-year-old James Thomas, was found dead in his eastern Henrico apartment complex. The medical examiner in the investigation told 8News Thomas died from a gunshot wound to the head.
Court documents show Anderson sold Thomas’ phone cell phone the day after he was killed. The prosecution told the court that Anderson was desperate for money, citing the fact that he was living without electricity and was expected to be evicted from his apartment.
The defense for Anderson told jurors the two men were drinking buddies and that the evidence from the prosecution was “mostly circumstantial.” Anderson’s lawyers said he found Thomas’ phone abandoned near a dumpster and that’s why he ended up selling it.
Anderson was found not guilty of murder, use of a firearm to commit murder and to commit robbery, his attorney told 8News. The jury did find Anderson guilty of robbery Thursday and he was sentenced to six years.
Stay with 8News for updates to this developing story.