Virginia Man Sentenced for Brutal Beating of Woman Stopped by Armed Citizen

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A 63-year-old Virginia man could spend the rest of his life in prison after he was sentenced to 21 years behind bars for brutally beating his former landlord with a brick; an attack that ended only when the woman's neighbor pulled a gun to defend her. 


The suspect, Bobby Bland, pleaded guilty to charges of malicious wounding, statutory burglary of building with the intent to commit rape/rob/murder/arson, and assault and battery back in February, but wasn't sentenced until this week. 

The attack took place in October, 2023, about a week after the woman had evicted Bland from her home in Virginia Beach. According to prosecutors, Bland broke into the home by using a brick to smash the glass patio door. Once inside, he began beating the woman with the same brick, striking her 10-15 times. 

The woman's neighbors heard her cries for help, and J'Mari Randolph said he knew he had to act.

“I seen her phone get thrown on the ground,” said J’Mari. “It just got quiet, and I’m just like ‘I’m going to put a stop to it.’ I walked around the car, and I seen Bobby hitting her with a brick, so I told him to stop… 

But Randolph said he wouldn’t stop beating the woman.

“I was like, ‘You have to get off of her. This isn’t right.’ And then he finally listened once I pulled my firearm out.”

Randolph held Bland at gunpoint until police arrived.

While J'Mari was trying to stop the assault, his mom Jessica was on the phone with 911 dispatchers. After her son convinced Bland to drop the brick, she helped to render first aid to the woman until first responders arrived.  

The Randolphs say they didn’t know their neighbor well before that October night, but Jessica added, “I can say this incident has brought us closer together."

We haven’t heard from the victim, but J’Mari said she is extremely grateful. 

“She thanks me every day for it," J'Mari said. "I just kind of tell her, 'I would want somebody to help me out if I was in that predicament.' Every time she sees me, she hugs me and thanks me.”


J'Mari Randolph is a hero. Maybe the teen would have been able to pry Bland off of his victim if he didn't have a gun with him, but he could just as easily have been brained by the brick wielded by Bland instead. 

Like most defensive gun uses in the U.S., Randolph was able to save a life without pulling the trigger. But his words alone weren't enough to defend the victim. It was the presence of the firearm in Randolph's hand that convinced Bland to stop his assault. 

I'm amazed that Randolph's heroism received virtually no media attention at the time of the attack. Instead, it wasn't until Bland was sentenced that the local press covered his actions, and as far as I can tell just one media outlet in the Virginia Beach area has bothered to report on his life-saving efforts last October. WTVR-TV deserves some credit for recognizing the importance of Randolph's defensive gun use, belated as it may be. 

Between the slanted coverage of Hunter Biden's trial and conviction and the press giving Joe Biden a pass for not even mentioning it during his address to Everytown activists just a few hours after the verdict was announced, the anti-gun bias of the national media has been on full display this week. The disinterest by local media in covering Randolph's heroics is a stark reminder that it's not just the cable news networks and papers like the New York Times that we have to contend with as Second Amendment supporters. 


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