HARRISONBURG — A Rockingham County judge sentenced a Staunton man to three years for his role in the shooting death of a Harrisonburg resident in December.
Givi Dudunia, 20, pleaded guilty on Aug. 8 to misdemeanor accessory after the fact to first-degree murder and misdemeanor accessory after the fact to felony use of a firearm in commission of a felony. On Thursday, during a hearing in Rockingham County Circuit Court, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and battery.
Judge T.J. Wilson sentenced him to three years in jail with one of those years suspended. With good behavior, he will only have to serve one of the two years in his active sentence, in accordance with jail policy.
The charges stem from the Dec. 23rd murder of Ben Graessle, a 2011 Spotswood High School graduate, outside his apartment at The Commons on Port Republic Road.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Marsha Garst told the judge that Dudunia helped hide the shooter, Dallas Chaplin, and the murder weapon after the shooting. She also said that a fight between Dudunia and Graessle led to the shooting. She said Dudunia was the aggressor in the dispute.
Chaplin pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He was sentenced to 80 years in prison, with 40 years suspended.