On August 6, 2016, a 19-year-old Fairfax County Park Authority Supervisor was violently attacked by a caterer at a wedding reception, after some guests and members of the wedding party taunted him in vile and obscene fashion throughout the event. In defending himself, the FCPA employee stabbed the caterer as she strangled him, leading to her death. The Fairfax County Police arrested the employee within minutes and he was charged with second degree murder. Experienced criminal defense attorneys Peter Greenspun and Anastasia Kranias have been representing the teen throughout the criminal proceedings. Although the Commonwealth's indictment was for second degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, or involuntary manslaughter. After almost seven days of trial, the teen was found not guilty.
Threatening Remarks by Caterer and Others at Wedding Party Lead to Stabbing
The stabbing occurred at a wedding reception at the Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in Chantilly, Virginia, where our client worked as a part-time seasonal employee. The wedding caterer, bride and groom were upset that the Park Authority rules and procedures for the use of the facility, which were set out in detail in the event contract, were being enforced by the employee. As the party was cleaning up and chairs were being counted, the vile verbal attack and threats against the lone park employee continued and became even more aggressive. The caterer eventually became incited by the others, joined the verbal assault against him, and then rushed him, choking him with great force. The accused, in response to the attack and in fear of his life, is alleged to have pulled out a pocket knife and stabbed the caterer, leading to her death.
The prosecution claimed this was a killing with malice, while the accused and his counsel argue that there was no malice, and that he was defending himself from the sudden and vicious assault and the threat to his life.
Jury Reached a Verdict of Not Guilty
In a criminal trial, the 12 jurors on the jury panel must reach a unanimous decision of either guilty or not guilty. In the first trial, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision in the case of Commonwealth of Virginia v. Kempton Bonds, and the judge declared a mistrial. During the retrial, after hearing seven days of evidence and deliberating for only approximately three hours, the jury found Mr. Bonds not guilty.
The judge declared a mistrial, due to the hung jury, meaning that the prosecution did not meet its burden of proof. A status hearing has been set for the Commonwealth to advise if they will seek a retrial. If so, a new trial date will be set at that time.
If you have been charged with a crime, it is important to act quickly to obtain experienced legal representation. To learn how our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help you, call our office today.
A Not Guilty Verdict was Reached