A man who was mistakenly released from jail this summer while awaiting sentencing on serious convictions in Spotsylvania County is back in custody, and he’s in more trouble than ever.

Najuon D. Courtney, 21, has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with an Oct. 21 incident that took place in Prince William County while he was on the run. Courtney was apprehended Wednesday evening in the Mayfield area of Fredericksburg and charged with murder. He also received multiple charges in Spotsylvania for failing to appear for his sentencing Sept. 3 in Spotsylvania Circuit Court.

Courtney was convicted of multiple charges—including armed burglary, attempted robbery and a firearms offense—in connection with a Feb. 23, 2018, home-invasion robbery at a townhouse on Lafayette Boulevard in Spotsylvania.

Judge Ricardo Rigual was prepared to sentence Courtney on those convictions Sept. 3 when it was discovered that Courtney was not in the Rappahannock Regional Jail.

He had been released July 29 as the result of an apparent oversight that was traced back to a $7,500 bond Courtney was granted several months after his March 4, 2018, arrest for the home-invasion robbery.

While out on bond, Courtney was arrested again on Sept. 12 2018, on a firearms charge, for which he was ordered to serve three months in prison.

Courtney was supposed to be sentenced July 29 for the home-invasion case, but the sentencing was delayed. Because he had already served well over the three months on the firearms conviction, and because his initial $7,500 bond was never revoked, Courtney was released from jail.

Spotsylvania prosecutor Jeff Adams was not aware of Courtney’s release until the scheduled Sept. 3 sentencing, when Courtney was a no-show.

After slipping through the cracks on his Spotsylvania convictions, Courtney and another young man were charged with an Oct. 21 slaying in Woodbridge, Prince William police said.

According to police, a marijuana transaction was arranged on Briar Rose Lane that included the victim, 21-year-old Nathaniel I. Hickson of Norfolk and the two suspects in his slaying, Courtney and 19-year Tre Rose. Rose is also in custody.

A police report states that shots were fired after the suspects tried to rob the victim. Arriving officers found an unresponsive Hickson, who was rushed to an area hospital and pronounced dead.

The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force assisted in the search for the suspects, which resulted in Fredericksburg police taking Courtney into custody Wednesday without incident.

Courtney is scheduled to appear in Spotsylvania Circuit Court next week to set a new date for his sentencing on the home-invasion convictions. He is again being held in the Rappahannock Regional Jail.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404


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