The Washington Post

Man pleads guilty in killing of handyman who defended Centreville family during home invasion

A Suitland man pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the killing of a handyman who died defending a Centreville family from home invaders in 2010, the U.S. attorney’s office in Alexandria said.

Tasheik A. Champean, 46, plotted with two other men to rob the owner of several check-cashing facilities at gunpoint inside his Virginia residence, according to a plea agreement. The men believed the man kept his proceeds there.

Champean pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and robbery, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. Champean faces a maximum of life in prison when he is sentenced in March.

In May 2010, Champean, Reynard L. Prather and a third unnamed conspirator drove to the Centreville home, where Champean and Prather entered armed with semiautomatic pistols, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Jose Cardona, the family’s handyman, discovered the men as they waited for the target to arrive home, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

A struggle ensued in the house’s four-car garage in which Cardona jumped on one of the men and wrestled his gun away, according to sources familiar with the case.

But the other man turned his gun on the family’s mother and threatened to kill the woman if Cardona did not return the gun, the sources said. Cardona complied and one of the men shot him, before both fled.

The Brar family credited Cardona with saving their lives.

In February, Prather pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit a robbery, use of a firearm in a crime of violence and use of a firearm in a crime of violence causing death. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison in June.

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