UPDATED: Charges against Lashawn Monroe certified

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch: Murder charge certified against Caroline man:

Felony charges were certified today to a Caroline County grand jury against Lashawn Monroe in the November slaying of Raquel Hunter.

Hunter’s body was found about 11 p.m. Nov. 10 on the ground outside the Madison Ruritan Club hall in Ladysmith. The hall had been rented for a birthday party for another teen.

Monroe, 22, is charged with murder and illegal use of a firearm.

Next stop: Grand jury.

Not sure if the charges will go to the special grand jury (not sure it has been formed yet) or if they will have to wait until April for the regular grand jury.

UPDATE: Richmond Times-Dispatch: Caroline murder trial advances:

A Ruther Glen man accused of killing a 16-year-old outside a birthday party on the night of November 10 had a murder charge against him certified by a judge to a grand jury today.

Lashawn Montque Monroe, 22, is charged in the death of Raquel (pronounced Rockwell) Tremain Hunter, 16, after a fight at the party at the Madison Ruritan Club in Ladysmith..

Party crashers, including Monroe, were ejected from the party, according to testimony in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court today. A melee ensued and the shooting took place about 11 p.m. in the Ruritan Club parking lot.

Javon Edwards, 18, testified that he saw “a big pile of people on top of each other,” including Hunter. He said he helped separate the fighters and noticed that Hunter “swung at somebody.”

He said he was standing next to Hunter when he heard a gunshot and saw a flash between Hunter and Monroe — and then watched Hunter slump to the ground.

Queried by Caroline County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael M. Weise and defense attorney John L. Mahoney, Edwards said he could not say who fired the shot.

“The flash came from the front of who?” Weise asked Edwards.

“The defendant,” Edwards said.

Detective Travis Nutter testified when he began interviewing Monroe a few hours later, Monroe denied having a gun. Later, said Nutter, Monroe admitted that he took a handgun to the party and fired it.

Nutter testified that Monroe told him he saw a “friend and someone else in a confrontation” outside the Ruritan building and when he heard a shot, “he pulled his gun out and shot as he was running away.”

A state medical examiner, Shane Chittenden, testified that Hunter’s body bore three bullet wounds.

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