MacDowell Law Group, P.C.

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Developer facing criminal charges after 16-year-old employee dies

A long-time real estate developer in Northern Virginia is facing serious criminal charges after a 16-year-old employee was killed in a jobsite accident over the summer. The 48-year-old owner of Digges Development in McLean, Virginia, faces charges of cruelty and injuries to children, and involuntary manslaughter.

The young employee was crushed on a residential construction site when a trench collapsed on him and another worker, according to news reports. The second individual was able to escape with injuries, but the 16-year-old could not. He had to be extricated. He was then transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The developer was well-known for building luxury and custom homes, as well as performing renovations. The company has been in business for over 60 years.

In the state of Virginia, involuntary manslaughter is a Class 5 felony, as defined by Code of Virginia Section 18.2-36. It carries a prison sentence of one to 10 years, $2,500 in fines, and driver's license revocation. Cruelty and injuries to children is considered a Class 6 felony in the state. It is defined as follows: It shall be unlawful for any person employing or having the custody of any child willfully or negligently to cause or permit the life of such child to be endangered or the health of such child to be injured, or willfully or negligently to cause or permit such child to be placed in a situation that its life, health or morals may be endangered, or to cause or permit such child to be overworked, tortured, tormented, mutilated, beaten or cruelly treated. Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

These are common charges applied to a very uncommon situation in this case. Expert legal representation will be vital to the best possible sentence in this matter. A Defendant facing such serious charges should immediately retain the services of an attorney who can guide his steps, and prevent him from doing or saying anything that may affect the outcome.

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