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Cape Charles man charged with first-degree murder in grandmother’s death

By Linda Cicoira

Indictments handed up Monday by a Northampton grand jury charge a Cape Charles teen with first-degree murder in the death of his grandmother and three firearms-related offenses.

Anthony David Mercado, 25, who lived with the victim, Jane Grigsby McKinley, 73, at her home on Tazewell Street, was initially charged with second-degree murder. Prosecutors told the panel the shooting death was premeditated, according to the indictment. That charge was previously certified by a district court judge.

Mercado was also charged with maliciously discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling, unlawful firing while committing a felony, and using a weapon in the commission of a crime. The misdemeanor charges filed against him include: reckless handling of a weapon, destruction of property worth less than $1,000, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a Schedule VI drug. The white powder, seized during the investigation and initially believed to be cocaine, contained sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim, antibiotics used to treat various infections.

When police encountered Mercado on the stairs of the home on the day of the shooting, records indicate he told authorities that he “had just shot someone who came into his house and she was upstairs and not alive.” Officer T. Lynch of the Cape Charles Police Department wrote: “I found his grandmother’s body upstairs. He was later interviewed (and) he told us that he shot her multiple times as she was walking away from him.”

The file also showed that Mercado had been living with the victim for three or four months and had been unemployed since the beginning of the pandemic. McKinley was his only relative in the area. The defendant was “financially supported by family and money from work savings before the pandemic.”