Coates & Davenport, P.C.

Virginia man found not guilty in caterer's death

Arguments between people in Virginia can become heated, sometimes escalating into violence. Sometimes a person has no choice but to harm a person who is actively trying to kill them. Things become complicated, however, when a person who believes they acted in self-defense is accused of a crime.

A young man from Virginia who was accused of fatally stabbing a wedding caterer will not be convicted of the crime. He argued at his retrial that he acted in self-defense and after the jury could not reach a verdict a mistrial was declared and the young man was found not guilty.

The 20-year-old man was accused of stabbing a 35-year-old wedding caterer to death in August 2016. The young man and the caterer got into an argument regarding whether the caterer owned some chairs that she was loading into her truck. The young man claimed that she then pushed him into a railing, put her hands around his throat and threatened him. He then stated that he stabbed her with a pocketknife in self-defense, as he couldn't breathe. The incident was captured on the young man's own cell phone. On the phone recording one could hear a woman yelling, "Little boy!" and the young man yelling for the police. The young man dialed 911 and told the dispatcher he stabbed the caterer in self-defense.

As this shows, sometimes a person must act to defend themselves, even if that act injures or kills the aggressor. It is an unfortunate situation for all involved, but hopefully this young man will be able to move into the future with a clean slate. Those who are wondering more about how self-defense may come into play in their case are advised to bring the matter up to a criminal defense attorney.

Source:, "Virginia Student Who Killed Wedding Caterer Found Not Guilty in Retrial," Oct. 4, 2017

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