In the days since the body of missing Nelson County man Kevin Quick was found on February 6 in Goochland County, the case has grown more and more complicated, as the suspects arrested in conjunction with the Waynesboro reserve police officer’s death have appeared in different courts across Central Virginia.
The only thing that remains clear is that investigators are focused on a number of people who have intertwined criminal histories and suspected gang ties. In recent days, as various charges have been added and dropped and multiple crime scenes seem to have emerged, observers have struggled to piece together the sequence of events that led to the discovery of Quick’s body.
Yesterday (Tuesday, February 11) prosecutors added two new charges against a woman already behind bars on charges relating to Quick’s stolen vehicle. Twenty-year-old Mersadies Shelton is now charged with principal in the second-degree to malicious wounding and use of a firearm in commission of a felony.
On Sunday, February 9, 22-year-old Anthony L. White, of Mineral, was arrested in Louisa County and charged with one count of felony gang participation. That’s the same charge placed against three other individuals who were arrested on February 6. Halisi Uhuru, 22, of Danville, Leslie Hope Casterlow, 49, of Manassas, and Anthony D. Stokes, Jr., 31, of Manassas, were also initially charged with principal in the second-degree to capital murder, but Goochland County prosecutors dropped those charges on Monday, February 10.
Two Albemarle County siblings were the first arrested in connection with the case. Twenty-year-old Mersadies Shelton and 18-year-old Daniel Mathis were arrested at an Alexandria hotel on February 4 and charged with grand larceny for the theft of Quick’s silver 1999 Toyota 4Runner. Mathis was also charged with four felony counts and two misdemeanors for his alleged role in a robbery and assault in Louisa County that occurred the previous day.
Their sister, Shantai Shelton, was arrested in the same location on unrelated charges that, according to courtroom testimony reported by multiple media outlets, involved her alleged poisoning of an elderly man with whom she was living and theft of his wallet and gun. The three siblings live in an apartment on Barracks Road West, less than two miles from Quick’s intended destination on the night he disappeared. The current charges do not reveal whether Mathis and Shelton are suspected of gang involvement, although during Shantai Shelton’s hearing in Louisa County, prosecutors argued she should not be released on bond because of her connection to known gang members and their belief she had been preparing to leave the state to avoid prosecution.
As the investigation heads into its third week, one charge is notably absent from the case: murder.
That could soon change, according to longtime defense attorney David Heilberg.
“If they have probable cause and beyond to prove any one or more of these now defendants participated as a principal or accessory to homicide, there will be more charges, obviously,” Heilberg said, noting that the current charges allow police to hold the suspects without bond as they continue investigating the circumstances surrounding the disappearance and death of Quick, a captain in the Waynesboro Police Department’s reserve unit. Investigators have not released a cause of death.
If the idea of organized gangs in Central Virginia seems surprising, it shouldn’t. Albemarle Police spokesperson Carter Johnson said there are 183 verified gang members in the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County, and police suspect the number of active gang members is higher. In addition to numerous “homegrown” gangs, Johnson said there are more than half a dozen national gangs with branches that reach into the Charlottesville community.
“The Bloods are the largest gang with numerous sets,” said Johnson. Other national gangs active locally include the Crips, MS13, the Latin Kings, Gangster Disciples, 18th Street, and Sureno 13, according to Johnson.
State police have been tightlipped about the investigation of Quick’s death, which has involved assistance from numerous agencies including the FBI. According to State police, Quick was last seen in Nelson County around 10:15pm on Friday, January 31, and was headed to the Turtle Creek Apartments off Hydraulic Road. According to search warrants obtained by NBC12 and other media outlets, his Verizon cell phone was turned off at 10:52pm on Friday, and he never arrived at his destination.
In the days that followed, police released surveillance images of a person of interest and announced that Quick’s 4Runner had been spotted in Manassas and Fork Union. The vehicle was recovered after being abandoned in Mineral, Virginia, on Monday morning, February 3, the day after a family reported being beaten and robbed at a Super Bowl party in Mineral, the incident for which Mathis is facing additional charges, according to state police.
In an interview with the Central Virginian newspaper, Mineral resident Edward Chaplain said Daniel Mathis was one of two men who beat and robbed him and shot his 18-year-old son in the buttocks. Chaplain described one man aiming a pistol at his 2-year-old son and attempting to force him out of the house. The following day, Mathis and his two sisters were arrested. All three are being held without bond in the Central Virginia Regional Jail.
Police have not released a cause of death for Quick, and Heilberg said knowing where and how he died will determine where the case is ultimately tried. A capital murder charge is possible when a homicide is committed in conjunction with certain other crimes including robbery or abduction, or for the murder of a police officer killed in the performance of his duties.
Kevin Quick case timeline
10:15pm: Quick leaves his mother’s home in Afton.
10:52pm: Quick’s phone is turned off. Quick’s 1999 Toyota 4Runner is captured in surveillance footage in Fork Union.
Photographs place Quick’s vehicle in Manassas.
Quick’s vehicle is in use on Sunday night in Charlottesville and Louisa County, according to state police.
A Mineral resident reports a violent robbery and shooting at a Super Bowl party.
Police recover Quick’s abandoned vehicle in Louisa County.
Police arrest three Albemarle County siblings in an Alexandria hotel. Two are charged with grand larceny. Daniel Mathis is also arrested on charges relating to the February 2 robbery and shooting.
Remains later confirmed to be Quick’s are discovered by searchers in Goochland County near the Fluvanna County line.
Police make three additional arrests of Halisi Uhuru, Leslie Hope Casterlow, and Anthony D. Stokes. All are charged with being accessories to capital murder and gang participation.
Anthony L. White is arrested in Louisa County and charged with one felony count of gang participation.
Accessory to murder charges against Uhuru, Casterlow, and Stokes are dropped.
Mersadies Shelton is charged with principle in the-second-degree to malicious wounding and principle in the second to use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.