WINCHESTER — Xavian E. Bell, the getaway driver in a 2018 robbery-turned-homicide, faces up to 2½ years for her role in the killing of Jerry Wayne Reid Jr.
In a Tuesday plea bargain in Winchester Circuit Court, Bell pleaded guilty to breaking and entering and two counts of armed robbery. First-degree murder, use of a firearm in a felony, and conspiracy to breaking and entering charges were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
The 23-year-old Bell, of the 800 block of South Cameron Street, was sentenced to 30 years with 27½ years suspended. The sentence includes time served. Bell has been jailed at the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center since Sept. 17, 2019. State sentencing guidelines recommended a minimum of a year, 10 months, a midpoint of 2½ years, and a maximum of six years, seven months.
Bell drove her brother, Edward Nathaniel Bell Jr., Ronald Emmanuel Johnson and Rafael Sanchaez Lickey to the Smithfield Avenue home of Reid on the night of Dec. 23, 2018. While she waited in her car, the men broke in and robbed the home. Reid, a 40-year-old father of one, was shot by Edward Bell when he grabbed Johnson as they fled the residence.
The 24-year-old Bell was convicted of first-degree murder by a jury on Oct. 6 and faces up to life imprisonment at his scheduled sentencing in January. The 28-year-old Johnson is serving 30 years after pleading guilty last year. The 19-year-old Lickey's case is pending.
In asking that most of Xavian Bell’s sentence be suspended, Heather D. Hovermale, acting commonwealth’s attorney, cited Bell's testimony implicating her brother. She also noted Bell has no criminal record, didn't enter the home, was unarmed, and may have been unaware her brother was carrying a pistol during during the crime. She also told Judge Brian M. Madden that Bell has shown remorse to Reid's family.
Hovermale added that the 10 years of supervised probation Bell will be on after being released and the 27½ years she faces if she violates probation are incentives for good behavior.
"If you screw up during that 10 years of probation, the commonwealth will be sentencing you to all of that suspended sentence," Madden told Bell, who said she understood the implications of her probation being revoked.
Bell must also pay $6,399 in restitution. She and her brother are the children of Edward Nathaniel Bell, who ws executed in 2009 for the 1999 murder of Winchester police Sgt. Ricky Lee Timbrook.