Two murder trials begin in Fairfax
Two intriguing murder trials have begun jury selection on Monday morning in the Fairfax County courthouse, including one in which a Springfield area father is accused of shaking his baby son to death.
The other trial involves the November 2008 slaying of cab driver Mazhar Nazir in Tysons Corner. Evan D. Gargiulo, now 23, had been at a Halloween party in the District, and claimed his wallet and keys had been stolen at the party. He convinced Nazir to drive him home to Reston, where he apparently retrieved a 9 mm handgun, then had Nazir drive him back to his car at Tysons.
Gargiulo told police that he didn't have any cash, and that Nazir heard this and tried to climb over the front seat to attack him, so Gargiulo shot him. In a pretrial hearing, prosecutors revealed that Nazir was still wearing his seat belt when he was discovered.
This morning, Gargiulo entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. Lawyers told Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Bruce D. White the trial should take four or five days.
Elsewhere in the courthouse, Elmer J. Midence, 39, is charged with murder in the death of his eight-month-old son Albert in March 2009. Midence called 911 and told the dispatcher that he was in the shower with the baby, slipped and fell.
Doctors at Inova Fairfax Hospital told police that Albert's brain injuries were not consistent with a fall. Paramedics told investigators the shower, and the father and son, were dry when they arrived.
Fairfax Deputy Public Defender Dawn Butorac has lined up Georgetown neurosurgeon Ronald H. Uscinski to testify for the defense. Uscinski is a renowned opponent of doctors who diagnose "shaken baby syndrome." Fairfax prosecutors have lined up their own battery of experts to convince the jury that Albert was fatally shaken.
The trial before Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Randy I. Bellows is expected to last into next week.
-- Tom Jackman
March 8, 2010; 11:25 AM ET
Categories: Fairfax , From the Courthouse , Homicide , Tom Jackman , Updates
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