Many Richmonders still have questions about the case of a 16-year-old shot and killed on the city's south side last month. Richmond's top prosecutor says the death of Robert Fox is different in many ways from other cases.
Mike Herring explains, with the complicated facts in this case, it is better suited for a grand jury hearing instead of issuing an arrest warrant. That will happen in the beginning of April, which is almost a month and a half after the death of Robert Fox.
Fox's loved ones grieve like families we see after many Richmond crimes, but this isn't any ordinary case.
"I want justice to be served, yes I do," Robert's dad said.
According to sources, Fox was breaking into cars on McRand Street last month when a resident there shot and killed him. Police have identified the shooter, but haven't arrested him. Many citizens have asked what is taking so long with this particular case.
"This is more complicated," Commonwealth's Attorney Mike Herring said Thursday.
Herring explains they're balancing use of lethal force in self-defense and in defense of property, as well as how a citizen can apprehend a suspect. He told us this would be a different story if this was simply a case of someone shooting a suspect who was breaking into a car.
"I would have recommended to the police that they get an arrest warrant that night," he added. "Obviously, because we didn't do that, you know it's more complicated."
Sources also say Fox did not have a gun that night, so the grand jury is also going to have to weigh if there was any provocation in this case and how that could factor in.
Both issues came into play in another controversial Richmond trial. Back in 2009, Eric Driver was charged with murder after he shot someone breaking into his girlfriend's car. A jury convicted Driver on a lesser charge, but he didn't serve any time. Some have wondered if that case could be affecting Herring's choices now.
"My decision on whether to submit it isn't guided by prior cases," Herring responded. "On the other hand, the outcome of the prior cases does have an impact on the offers that I might make in the case if we get an indictment."
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