Melody Hookah Lounge

Front door of the Melody Hookah Lounge, Feb. 20 2022

Jamel Flint of Roanoke appeared at Montgomery County General District Court on Thursday, Sept. 8 for his preliminary hearing and faces several charges, including a first-degree murder charge in the death of 18-year-old Isiah Robinson.

According to the Roanoke Times, Robinson was a Patrick Henry High School senior and football player, who had come from Roanoke to Melody Hookah Lounge to celebrate his acceptance into college with several friends.

Four other individuals were injured in the shooting, one of which was a Virginia Tech student, according to a statement made by President Tim Sands several hours after the shooting.

According to WSLS, Flint surrendered to police the day after the shooting.

Blacksburg Police officers Andrew McFee and Luke Teubert, as well as Detective Ryan Hite testified in the hearing.

Teubert arrived on the scene and began aiding a wounded individual outside of Melody Hookah Lounge. Afterwards, Teubert discovered Robinson’s body inside the hookah lounge, who was later identified by Hite.

According to WDBJ, in Hite’s testimony, he revealed that while interviewing Flint, Flint said, “I can’t say I didn’t do it.”

Hite also said that while interviewing Flint, Flint stated he had originally gone from Roanoke to Radford, was refused entry at a fraternity party, and went to Melody Hookah Lounge instead.

Virginia Tech student Shamar Mansion, who was injured in the shooting, also testified in the hearing, and said, “I ran towards the back of the building, after about ten feet I ran behind one of the pieces of furniture, and that’s when I realized I was shot.”

Flint’s defense attorney Cathy Reynolds did not provide evidence during the preliminary hearing, and stated Flint “had only been “somewhat” identified,” according to the Roanoke Times.

Judge Gino Williams sent the case to a grand jury at the conclusion of the hearing. The jury is scheduled to meet in late October and will determine if Flint is to be tried in Circuit Court.

Two charges against Flint had been dropped at the beginning of the hearing, as two of the individuals who had been injured were not able to appear. However, according to Commonwealth Attorney Mary Pettitt, it is possible new charges may be added when the case is heard by the grand jury.

29-year-old Jalen Pierce allegedly drove Flint back to Roanoke and is charged with accessory to murder. Pierce’s preliminary hearing was originally the same day as Flint’s but was postponed.

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