U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Eastern District of Virginia
For Immediate Release
January 13, 2010
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney
Contact: Peter Carr
Public Information Officer
(703) 549-5202 (fax)
Three Indicted for Alleged Participation in Hardee’s Murder
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. Anthony Lee Wainwright, Jr., 25, Henry Lee Stapleton, 23, and Michael Johnson, Jr., 22, all of Newport News, Va., were indicted by a federal grand jury today on charges related to the murder of Diane Elizabeth Green and the robbery of a Hardees restaurant in Newport News. The charges include conspiracy to commit robbery, weapons violations, and murder with a firearm in reference to a crime of violence. All three face a maximum penalty of death.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; James D. Fox, Chief of Police, Newport News Police Department, and Willie Brownlee, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division made the announcement after the indictment was returned and made public.
My Office is committed to making our community a safe place for families to live and work, said U.S. Attorney MacBride.
We will commit the full weight of our investigative and prosecution powers to accomplish that goal.
This case is yet another excellent example of what can be accomplished when federal and local law enforcement and the United States Attorney’s Office work together as a team to fight violent crime, said Chief Fox.
We will continue to work with both the federal and state prosecutors in our efforts to remove violent criminals from the streets of Newport News. I’m very proud of the Newport News Detectives and others who have been working very hard to solve this case.
The Newport News detectives and ATF agents who worked on this investigation are to be commended for their hard work and outstanding dedication to getting the job done, said Acting Special Agent in Charge Brownlee.
As this investigation shows, ATF remains committed to working with our law enforcement partners in the fight against violent crime.
According to the indictment, on Sept. 8, 2007, Wainwright and Stapleton entered a Hardees restaurant with firearms intending to commit a robbery. After robbing the employees of the money in the cash register, Wainwrights do-rag slipped down and revealed his face. Worried he could be identified, Wainwright then shot Green in the back of the head killing her instantly. Wainwright also wounded another employee who fled from the restaurant. Wainwright and Stapleton fled on foot and were later picked up by Johnson from a location near the Hardees restaurant. The three returned to a hotel room at the American Tudor Inn where they divided up the money stolen in the robbery.
This case was investigated by Newport News Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorneys Howard Zlotnick, Lisa McKeel and Brian Samuels are prosecuting this case on behalf of the United States.
Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.