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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Michigan

For Immediate Release

Thursday, July 20, 2017
Andrew Byerly Birge
, United States Attorney
Contact: Kaye Hooker

Man Who Started Shootout Leading to Friend's Death Sentenced to 100 Months' Imprisonment

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN —Chief U.S. District Judge Robert J. Jonker sentenced 24-year-old Demetrius Viney, Jr. of Holland, Michigan to 100 months’ imprisonment for being a felon in possession of a firearm, Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew Byerly Birge announced today. Judge Jonker also ordered Viney to serve three years of supervised release, forfeit the firearm, and pay a $1,200 fine.

Viney’s possession of the firearm resulted in a fatal shooting in the early morning hours of September 11, 2016, when he used it to shoot at a rival in the parking lot of the Hookah Lounge in Holland. The resulting shootout resulted in the death of Viney’s friend, Anthony Lamb.

The Court held that Viney’s initiating the gunfire by shooting at his rival constituted attempted second-degree murder and was deserving of an enhanced sentence. The Government urged the enhancement by pointing out that Viney "repeatedly threatened [his rival], pulled a firearm on him, pointed it at him, and shot."

"Instead of becoming a law-abiding citizen, Demetrius Viney, Jr. chose to continue a life of crime, and it led to the death of his friend," said Thomas Chittum, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. "His lengthy prison sentence should serve as a warning to others who might consider making similar poor choices."

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office and ATF jointly investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Davin Reust prosecuted Viney’s federal case. The Ottawa County Prosecutor brought charges against others involved in the fatal shooting, some of which are still pending final resolution.

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