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19-year-old found guilty of second-degree murder in 2020 Virginia shooting

The man has been found guilty of the murder of 22-year-old Matthew Joseph Costanzo who was shot dead during a drug deal.
Credit: AndreyPopov

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — A 19-year-old man has been found guilty of second-degree murder after a 22-year-old man was shot dead during a weed deal in Woodbridge, Virginia. 

The Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney announced the prosecution of Taron Thomas for the murder, as well as aggravated malicious wounding, two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, conspiracy to commit robbery, attempted robbery and felony homicide. 

According to the attorney's office, Thomas and another person set up a weed deal in the Tackett’s Mill Shopping Center in Woodbridge. While on the scene, evidence showed Thomas fired six shots, hitting two victims; while the person alongside Thomas, named Daquil Smith, fired seven.

The 22-year-old, identified as Matthew Costanzo, endured eight gunshot wounds and was ultimately pronounced dead shortly after despite law enforcement and emergency medical efforts to save him. Another victim - an unidentified 18-year-old woman - suffered one gunshot wound and survived thanks to emergency medical services.

A sentencing hearing for Thomas is scheduled for Jan. 26, 2023.

Smith was previously found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony on Sept. 13, 2021. His case is currently on appeal with the Court of Appeals of Virginia. 

“This was a challenging case, and I am extremely proud of the prosecutors that worked diligently to bring justice to the surviving victim and Mr. Costanzo’s family,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Amy Ashworth.  

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