Augusta slaying suspect captured after Virginia Beach standoff

Friday, Sept. 12, 2008 11:43 AM
Last updated Friday, May 28, 2010 10:44 PM
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Virginia Beach authorities have captured the Augusta man suspected of killing the mother of his child on Sunday and wounding her new boyfriend.

Earl Demetrius Dinkins, a 42-year-old correctional officer, was taken into custody this morning after a standoff at a Days Inn on the 1000 block of Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach Police Master Police Officer Adam Bernstein said. That section of the avenue runs along the coastline in the Fort Story area.

Master Police Officer Bernstein said the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office had contacted Virginia Beach authorities saying Mr. Dinkins might be in their area. The department’s Oceanfront Community-Oriented Policing Squad began trolling hotel parking lots along the beach, looking for a black 1997 GMC Jimmy.

The sports utility vehicle was spotted at the hotel around 11:15 p.m. Thursday, and police confirmed Mr. Dinkins was registered there, the Virginia Beach officer said. Warrants were obtained and efforts began to talk him out of the room. A SWAT team was on hand at 1 a.m.

Police negotiators got Mr. Dinkins on the phone around 3 a.m., Master Police Officer Bernstein said.

“We got him on the phone and kept him talking,” he said.

Mr. Dinkins made demands that police couldn’t meet; then he made one they could accommodate, the officer said. He wouldn’t go into detail about the negotiations, but said Mr. Dinkins emerged from the room at 10:34 a.m. and was taken into custody without a struggle.

“No gas, no breaking down the door,” Master Police Officer Bernstein said.

The officer said he didn’t know yet whether Mr. Dinkins was armed during the standoff.

Considered armed and dangerous by authorities during the five-day search, Mr. Dinkins is suspected of shooting his ex-girlfriend, Sirlinda Vernesa Price, 34, in her home in front of the couple's 2-year-old daughter just after 1:30 a.m. Sunday. The child was not injured.

Ms. Price was at home with her new boyfriend, Melroy Stephen Browman, 38, when Mr. Dinkins broke down the door and opened fire, police said. Police say they think Mr. Dinkins was upset about Ms. Price's new relationship.

Mr. Browman drove himself to a hospital with a gunshot wound. He was in stable condition, police said.

Mr. Dinkins, of Mount View Drive in Augusta, had worked as a corrections officer at the McCormick Correctional Institution, said Lt. Scott Peebles, of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. Mr. Dinkins was retired from the Army Reserve and had served in Desert Storm, Lt. Peebles said.

He’s now being held at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center, awaiting extradition by Augusta authorities, Master Police Officer Bernstein said.


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