Derek Wright could spend the next 40 years in prison for killing his friend. Alexandria Circuit Court Judge John Kloch found Wright, 28, guilty of second degree murder on Tuesday. The victim, Kareem Timmons, died from blunt force trauma to the head on Jan. 9, after an altercation between the two men.
The incident occurred in the lobby of the Alexandria probation office at 108 S. Washington Street. Wright came with Timmons to the office so that Timmons could obtain a letter from his former probation officer.
He was in the office no more than 10 to 15 minutes. He left in a hurry and met Mr. Wright by the elevator on the first floor. Then, Mr. Wright kicked him in the head and face until he was dead, said Deputy Commonwealths Attorney Krista Boucher.
The Commonwealths entire case was based on forensic evidence, turning the courtroom into CSI: Alexandria. DNA, fingerprints, impressions and blood spatter experts from the Virginia Department of Forensic Science testified. They found 42 separate finger and palm prints that matched Wrights on the wall above the spot where Timmons body was found. They found 11 separate footprints, seven of which matched the Nike Shocks that Wright was wearing the day of the murder. DNA evidence showed that it was Timmons blood on the jeans Wright was wearing when he was arrested.
Nearly every bone in Kareem Timmons face was broken and a bruise on Mr. Timmons forehead matched the pattern on the soles of Mr. Wrights shoes, Boucher said.
Defense attorney Denise Tassi called only one witness, the defendant. Wright said that Timmons parked Wrights work van in a loading zone and seemed to be taking a long time in the probation office Wright said that he went to find Timmons to ask how much longer he would be. Then, Wright said, Timmons shoved a paper in his chest and became aggressive.Wright said that he was only defending himself even though he was significantly taller and nearly 100 pounds heavier than the victim.
I do not find the defendants story credible, Judge Kloch said, just before delivering the verdict. However, the Commonwealth has not presented any evidence except the outcome that the defendant had any intention to kill the victim. It is the Commonwealths burden to present evidence to raise this crime to the level of first degree murder. They have not done that.
Kloch will sentence Wright on Oct. 18.