Librado Cena - the man arrested in April after he allegedly struck a man in the head during a road-rage confrontation, leading the man to die 10 days later - walked out of court Tuesday after charges against him were vacated by the Commonwealth Attorney's office.
Cena, the director of religious education at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Fairfax at the time of the incident, was charged with the aggravated malicious wounding of William Hays O'Brien of Fairfax City, who died after the confrontation.
According to Robert McClain, a deputy attorney for the commonwealth, prosecutors vacated the charges in Fairfax County court Tuesday because, "We did not feel the charges fit the parameters of the case."
However, McClain told Patch an investigation is ongoing, and it's possible new charges could be filed later.
McClain said he could not explain the reasons why prosecutors did not feel the charges fit the case without revealing confidential information from the ongoing investigation.
Cena was arrested and charged with aggravated malicious wounding on April 18, two days after the confrontation outside the Best Buy in the Fair City Mall, when City of Fairfax Police officers located him by the description of him and his vehicle that O'Brien was able to give them before he died.
O'Brien passed away in the hospital 10 days later. Shortly after that, the medical examiner's office declared his death was a result of his head injury, and therefore a homicide.
At that time, City of Fairfax Police said the case would be turned over to the Commonwealth Attorney's Office, and it would be up to them whether the charges against Cena would change.
McClain told Patch there are no new court dates scheduled for Cena.
Cena told Fairfax City police during interviews that both he and O'Brien were driving on Pickett Road near Fair City Mall, and that Cena became angry when O'Brien honked at him several times, possibly because Cena didn't accelerate fast enough when a red light turned green.
Cena reportedly followed O'Brien to his destination, the Best Buy store in the mall, and approached him to confront him.
The Washington Post reported that surveillance video showed Cena approaching O'Brien and striking him in the head from behind, prompting O'Brien to defend himself, though Cena described the fight to authorities as "two-sided," with both men throwing punches.
The Post reported that a bystander broke up the fight between the two men, and Cena then drove off. O'Brien reportedly walked into the store and told Best Buy employees he had been "assaulted" in the parking lot.
O'Brien then reportedly went home. Two hours later, after reporting the incident to police, O'Brien called paramedics from home to say that he was in distress with a powerful headache; he was unconscious and unresponsive when rescue crews arrived, according to the Post.
O'Brien spent several days in the hospital and died on April 26.
What do you think of this development? Tell us in the comments.
FOLLOW FAIRFAX CITY PATCH FOR THE LATEST NEWS AND EVENTS!Facebook | Twitter | Daily & Breaking News E-mail Updates