Verdict in Road Rage Assault Trial

Librado Cena faced misdemeanor assault and battery charges after victim fell ill an hour after an April 2013 fight and never recovered.

Librado Cena, 57, was convicted of misdemeanor assault and battery in the road-rage fight with William O'Brien in April 2013. O'Brien died 10 days later from a head injury sustained during the fight, according to police.
Librado Cena, 57, was convicted of misdemeanor assault and battery in the road-rage fight with William O'Brien in April 2013. O'Brien died 10 days later from a head injury sustained during the fight, according to police.
A Fairfax jury found Librado Cena guilty on a misdemeanor charge of assault in a road rage argument in a Best Buy parking lot last April — the other man fell ill an hour after the fight and died 10 days later.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Wednesday morning, according to The Washington Post. The maximum sentence is 12 months in jail.

Cena, 58, allegedly hit William Hays O'Brien, 63, only once in the Best Buy parking lot in Fairfax. But O’Brien would die 10 days later, reportedly from a head injury during the fight.

Charges of aggravated malicious wounding were dropped last fall, but a grand jury indicted Cena on a misdemeanor assault and battery charge in November.

O'Brien had allegedly been honking his horn at Cena before stopping at the Fairfax store. Security footage released by Fairfax City Police shows Cena approaching O'Brien from behind in the parking lot. The two have an altercation, followed by O'Brien walking into the store and Cena driving off.

Roughly an hour later, O’Brien called 911 from his home with a headache and said he “couldn’t think straight.” Paramedics found him unresponsive. O’Brien spent several days in the hospital, but died from what the medical examiner called “complications from blunt force trauma to the head."

Dean February 25, 2014 at 07:39 PM
you have to think outside the box.Replace this punks hand with a gun.If he shot him not meaning to kill him is it murder?If he punched him not meaning to kill him is it murder?Killing by violent act is murder wether it be a gun,knife,stone,fist or foot.This punk should consider himself very lucky.If it were my loved one his punishment would be so much more severe.Also his wife is a moron talking of his reputation.Don't be fooled into thinking he had one to begin with woman!
Jeff Stevens February 25, 2014 at 10:26 PM
Dean, the main problem is that you don't know what he did. The best evidence we have is the video. I assume you saw it. It's not clear what happened from the video. It's not clear who hit who first. When you cannot prove that Mr. Cena started the physical altarcation, you can't convict him of battery, or malicious wounding, or manslaughter, or murder. The facts as far as we can tell are totally consistent with Mr. Cena hitting Mr. O'Brien first, and with Mr. O'Brien hitting Mr. Cena first. So we can't tell who started the fight. Without that, you can't convict Mr. Cena of anything physical. So he wasn't. I also don't think it's reasonable to even believe that Mr. Cena started the fight. We have no evidence that says that. I've seen the video a dozen times and I cannot tell who makes the first strike. So with that, I have to reserve judgment and say I can't tell who started it, so I don't know who's responsible for Mr. O'Brien's tragic and premature death.
Parent February 25, 2014 at 11:11 PM
I hope he accepts that he has a bad temper. This is an embarrassment to the school he use to be at I'm sorry for the O'Brian family RIP
Tom G. February 26, 2014 at 07:21 AM
I would add one thing to what Jeff said. It's seems inconceivable that the punch alone was what caused O'Brien's death. The medical examiner said the death was due to “complications from blunt force trauma to the head." What complications, though? An brain aneurysm? That's kind of important. And to Dean, if it is true what Mr. Cena said and Mr. O'Brien threw the first punch, what if we think outside the box and consider what the circumstances would have been if O'Brien used a gun instead of a fist? It seems that O'Brien, had he lived, could have been charged and convicted with the same crime as Cena. And who is the punk, the guy leaning on his horn or the guy who is irritated by this? For me, which party started the physical altercation depends on whether Mr. Cena approached Mr. O'Brien in an aggressive way and invaded his personal space (i.e., not just to exchange angry words), even if he didn't throw the first punch. I can't tell what happened in that regard from the video. Seems like both parties were irritable and immature, though.
John Strother February 26, 2014 at 08:18 AM
We have no clue to what started the road rage. We have no clue to what gestures were shown during the time on the road. All we know is one followed the other into the store's lot and confronted the other. The film is too small, if it could be enlarged to show better detail, it might help. I really don't like Mr. Cessna's comment "That doesn't really work for me". It's like he had been prompted on his answers before the interview. I also can't see someone claiming self defense when he followed someone off the road way into a safe place as a parking lot and exit his own car to confront someone. Mr. Cessna took the aggressive path. The film isn't clear enough to show who hit whom first, however no one would had gotten hit if Mr. Cessna hadn't followed Mr. O'Brien into the parking lot. Hadn't gotten out of his car and confronted Mr. O'Brien. It could had been very different, if, Mr. Cessna had stayed in his car. However he did not and confronted Mr. O'Brien in a standing hostile position. That is called aggression. Mr. Cessna went after MR. O'Brien into a parking lot to have words or a fight. That is a fact. Then if Mr. O'Brien did throw the first punch, Mr. O'Brien was acting in self defense. Because someone had chased him into a parking lot where he had gone to seek safety. I think Mr. Cessna was trying his best to get off and may had been lying to the police. Especially when he states that does not work for me. The facts don't work for him?
Tom G. February 26, 2014 at 09:50 AM
John, if Mr. O'Brien didn't honk at Mr. Cena in such a way as to anger him, presumably aggressively, the whole situation wouldn't have happened either, so a case could be made that O'Brien initiated the incident. What's aggressive? We don't know the details of what happened. What if Cena just approached O'Brien saying something like "why are you blaring your horn at me, I was just waiting for another car to clear the intersection," and O'Brien took a swing. Then the first physically aggressive and illegal act would have been O'Brien's. Or things could have happened differently where Cena was the physical aggressor. The problem with everyone's attempts to assign guilt is that they have to make up facts not in evidence. We simply cannot tell who initiated the illegal assault.
MR PLUTO February 26, 2014 at 10:17 AM
O'Brien was a jerk for honking at every light. I have no sympathy for him.
Tom G. February 26, 2014 at 10:52 AM
Here is a link to an article with a lot more detail: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/anger-on-the-roads-led-to-a-single-deadly-punch-in-fairfax-city/2014/02/23/23e04034-98d2-11e3-b88d-f36c07223d88_story.html
ESF February 26, 2014 at 11:58 AM
O'Brien may have been "a jerk" for honking at Cena but that does not justify what Cena did by following him into the parking lot and confronting him, leading to a needless death. Cena should have driven on and none of this would have happend. Cena gave in to his anger and he deserves jail time for it.
SouthArlJD February 26, 2014 at 01:29 PM
There was testimony at trial that O'Brien was acting aggressively toward Cena even after Cena confronted him, and this is verified on the tape when one can see that O'Brien is backing up Cena around the parking lot before any punches are exchanged. He had options, too. He could have simply walked away or apologized for all the car horn honking which set off a guy who had a reputation as a peaceable sort. We've all been there. Nothing triggers rage like someone acting aggressively toward us on the road. O'Brien's reputation was that he was ordinarily a good guy, too, but something made him act with aggression that day. Maybe his meds were affecting him. The punch from Cena was not very hard because we also see O'Brien walking away and toward the store without any sense that he feels injured or intimidated. He looks like he thinks he settled the matter. The real problem here isn't that a couple of ordinary, decent family guys got upset with each other and acted out of character, but that one of them was on a medication which kept his blood from clotting, so what would have been a small brain bleed - if a bleed at all - became a torrent of blood which saturated O'Brien's brain and killed him. Cena had no intent to kill or even injure O'Brien who, for his own part, was probably just feeling a little puckish and out of sorts and if he had lived might have even been embarrassed by the whole episode. This just isn't a murder case, nor is Cena a "punk" as someone suggested above. It was just a very unfortunate thing.


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