A Caterer Was Stabbed, Was it a Hate Crime?
A Fairfax, Virginia wedding ended with the fatal stabbing of a 35-year-old caterer.
Tyonne D. Johns was working a wedding that took place in Ellanor C. Lawrence Park Saturday when she got into an argument with 19-year-old Kempton A. Bonds.
Police say the self-employed chef and the teen initially exchanged words over noise but things calmed down. Then a second argument ensued, this time over chairs. Bonds stabbed Johns multiple times in the torso with a knife, officials say.
Medical staff pronounced her dead at a nearby hospital.
Johns was reportedly a member of the LGBTQ community. Seymone Spence, a close friend of Johns’, worked as a bartender with her during the wedding. She felt that Bond’s behavior was indicative of intolerance.
“He had no respect for us,” Spence told WUSA. “The way he talked to us, the way he tried to dictate everything around us was just wrong.”
Officials have not said whether they will investigate Johns’ death as a hate crime. Bonds, who attends Northern Virginia Community College, has been charged with second-degree murder.
A spokesperson for the police department said Bonds had been working as a seasonal facility attendant with the Fairfax County Parks Authority since July 2015.
During an interview with reporters, a friend of Bonds said the act was “extremely out of character for him.”
“As of right now though, I feel not inclined to jump to any sort of conclusions right now.”
Spence expressed anger at the lower tier of punishment. She was hoping for a first-degree murder charge.
“Chairs took my friend’s life. She ordered chairs and was just trying to get them back on the truck and he thought she was taking his chairs,” she cried out.
Photo: Tyonne Johns Facebook