Last Friday, a high-profile court case ended in a mistrial after jurors for the Fairfax County Circuit Court were unable to achieve consensus on a verdict after over six hours deliberation. The case in question is one familiar to many Fairfax County residents and concerns the sentencing of the 20-year-old Bonds who, it is known, fatally stabbed the 35-year-old Johns during a wedding held at a park in Chantilly.
Bonds had been an employee of the Fairfax County parks department since the summer of 2015 when the incident occurred last August. Johns, a caterer by trade, was at the Chantilly park to offer her services during the wedding of her two friends. According to members of the wedding party and employees of Johns’ catering service, Bonds behaved in an consistently disrespectful and rude manner towards the group throughout the night, going so far as to cut off the power only minutes after the 9:00pm noise curfew, forcing the newly wed couple to postpone their first dance. According to Bonds, the wedding group behaved inappropriately from the moment they set foot on the park grounds, and there are documented phone calls between Bonds, the police, and Bond’s employer wherein Bonds complains about the guests actions.
At the end of the night, when the wedding began packing up, Bonds and Johns became embroiled in an argument revolving around the folding chairs. According to the testimony, the argument concerned the number of chairs being used by the guests. During the argument, a physical altercation erupted between Bonds and Johns. The altercation ended when Bonds took out a knife and stabbed Johns. The evidence suggests that Bonds used a knife with a three inch blade, and that he stabbed John’s two separate times, at one point twisting the knife and jerking it upwards. The prosecution suggests that this action made clear Bonds’ wish to kill Johns.
Adding to the jurors pool of evidence is a cellphone video, taken by Bonds, in which insults and abuse are being hurled at Bonds throughout the entire end of the evening. The recording ends shortly after a woman can be heard saying, “You stabbed me.”
Due to the prevalent racial tensions bubbling across the county, this case has become a highly dividing controversy. The jurors on the case purportedly combed through all the information together and then became so entrenched in their various positions that, by the time they reached a hung-jury verdict, several members were no longer speaking to one another.