Pittsylvania Co. Man Accused of Attempted Carjacking and Gang Pa - WSET.com - ABC13

Pittsylvania Co. Man Accused of Attempted Carjacking and Gang Participation Found Guilty


Update 6:12 p.m.:

Pittsylvania Co., VA - The Pittsylvania County man charged with attempted carjacking and participating in gang activity has been found guilty on both charges. 

A jury reached a verdict in Dontey Pannell's trial Tuesday evening.

They had been deliberating for a few hours.

The jury is now discussing their sentencing recommendation.


This is the second time Pannell is on trial for these charges, because last time there was a hung jury.

The defense says back in June of last year, Pannell was at Leesville Lake for a family reunion.

They say he was supposed to leave with his brother when they lost the car keys and ended up walking.

The victim in this case says she was driving near the lake by herself and was stopped by a 5-year-old boy, who was Pannell's son.

The woman claims five men ran up to her car and asked for a ride. She said no but let them use her phone. Then she says they forcibly tried to get in the car but she was able to drive off.

The Commonwealth told the jury that Pannell told an inmate he did all of the things he was charged with and did it to earn his rank in the Bloods gang. The inmate also says Pannell told the inmate he wanted to rape and murder the woman and throw her body in the lake.


UPDATE: The trial continues today for a Pittsylvania County man accused of attempted carjacking and gang participation.

Back in May, a jury found Dontey Pannell not guilty of attempted murder and attempted rape.
The 26 year old was accused of attacking a woman at Leesville Lake last summer and bragging after his initial arrest about plans to hurt the woman.
That jury could not come to a decision on the charges of attempted carjacking and gang participation.

Pittsylvania Co., VA - Shouts of joy echoed through downtown Chatham as the family of Dontey Pannell celebrated his acquittal on the two most severe charges he faced.

The 26-year-old was accused of reaching into a young woman's car window after asking her for a ride last summer at Leesville Lake.

The young woman testified Monday that Pannell and 4 other men surrounded her car and tried to force their way inside before she sped off.

The charges for attempted murder and attempted rape were added last year after the prosecutor says Pannell bragged about the incident in jail following his ininitialrrest.

A gang expert also testified that tattoos on Pannell's body and items seized from his home are linked to gang affiliation.

Family members who were with Pannell on the night of the alleged incident say he never came in contact with the young woman and he has never been part of a gang.

A new trial will be held for the charges of attempted carjacking and gang participation, but today, the judge agreed to set a bond hearing for Pannell.

His family says they feel like justice has been served.

"This has been going on, what 2, 3 days now? It's about time for him to be home with his family. We love him to death, " said Pannell's sister.

A date for a new trial on the remaining charges has not been set.

Pittsylvania Co., VA - After more than seven hours of deliberation, Dontey Pannell has been found not guilty of attempted capital murder, attempted rape, and conspiracy to commit murder.

The jury could not reach a decision on the charges of attempted carjacking and gang participation. The judge declared a mistrial.

Pittsylvania County, VA - The jury will reconvene Wednesday morning in the case of an accused gang member in Pittsylvania County.

Our crews will be in the courtroom hoping for a verdict.

The jury started deliberating around 7:00 p.m. Tuesday night, but came back out with questions around 9:45 p.m.

26-year-old Dontey Pannell of Hurt is facing multiple charges - including attempted rape and attempted capital murder.

The charges stem from an incident at Leesville Lake last summer.

A woman says Pannell tried to force his way into her car, after asking to borrow her phone.

The woman also testified in court Tuesday that a little boy flagged her down.

Investigators say that boy is Pannell's son.

She testified that when she stopped, five men surrounded her car and started pulling on the door handles.

She claims Pannell made sexual comments to her and when he went to grab her through the window she pepper sprayed him and drove off.

Pannell's family members, however, testified that on the day in question, they were having a family gathering at the lake.

They say Pannell never came in contact with the accuser and that he is not in a gang.

A gang expert testified Tuesday - that clothing and documents found in Pannell's home were consistent with gang participation.

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