UPDATE: Eric Driver indicted on murder charge

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The college student who killed a man breaking into his girlfriend's car will have to stand trial for murder. 25 year old Eric Driver was indicted by a grand jury Monday on a second degree murder charge. It all happened on Leigh and 22nd Streets at 4:00 in the afternoon last April.

Monday we got new information on where Hollman was fatally shot and what that could mean for this case. Eric Driver heard his girlfriend screaming and ran outside with a gun. He saw 24 year old Jamal Hollman in his girlfriend's car wearing a mask. Driver ended up shooting and killing Hollman. A grand jury indicted him for murder; Richmond's top prosecutor says he feels vindicated.

"This isn't an instance where you have a prosecutor and a detective deciding there's probable cause. You now have grand jurors. Neutral people who have decided in their judgment there's probable cause that a crime was committed," said Richmond's Commonwealth Attorney Michael Herring.

Driver's defense attorney says the grand jury only heard one side. He says his client was fighting for his life. Not defending personal property.

"The type of guy he is. He's not a cowboy out there. He's someone who was really startled by his girlfriend's reaction," said John Luxton, Driver's attorney.

A witness says he was standing in a nearby alley and saw Driver chasing Hollman down the street with a gun. But Hollman's defense attorney said an autopsy shows Hollman was not shot in the back. He was shot in the chest. He says there was a struggle.

"We wouldn't have filed these charges unless we were professionally and reasonably sure that Mr. Driver over reacted," said Herring.

Back in the neighborhood, folks have strong opinions about this indictment.

"When somebody steals your car or your stereo or things you worked hard for and the cops can't protect you, well Joe Public will protect you," said resident Ben Reidy.

"We don't have the death penalty for stealing change. It's a shame but you know he shouldn't have been carrying around gun if he didn't know the rules," said Charlie Field, resident.

The case is expected to be heard by a jury in late fall.

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