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Downtown Mall murder suspect gets Richmond lawyer

Murder suspect Marcel Darell Washington, who is alleged to have chased a man out of a Downtown Mall restaurant in October while to kill him with gunshots, will have his preliminary hearing Feb. 16, a judge said Thursday.

Appearing by video feed from the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, the 32-year-old Washington confirmed that he would be represented by Richmond-based attorney Todd Stone to face murder and firearms charges for his actions in the early morning hours of Oct. 23.

Surveillance video referenced in a recent search warrant affidavit suggests that the gun violence began after Washington had a conversation inside Lucky Blue’s restaurant with victim Davonn Jamar Wilson. The document asserts that Wilson allegedly punched Washington and then ran toward the door of the restaurant. Then, as a witness previously told The Daily Progress, Washington drew a pistol and began firing at Wilson and continued shooting at Wilson while pursuing him onto the Downtown Mall.

Wilson died of his injuries, and two female bystanders were hit by stray bullets, according to police, who described the women’s injuries as non-life threatening.

Charlottesville General District Court Judge Andrew Sneathern will oversee Washington’s preliminary hearing.

After Washington, the face appearing on the jailhouse video feed belonged to Bryan Silva, a social media star also known as "Gratata." He was arrested Nov. 14, one day after the triple-fatal mass shooting at the University of Virginia, and charged with possession of firearms or ammunition by a convicted felon and with possession of a controlled substance.

Neither charge relates directly to that slaying or to what Silva did to stoke additional local fears. But, just hours before the murders of three student athletes coming back from a bus trip, Silva posted on social media that he wanted to bring “pain and suffering” to the university.

In court on Thursday, Silva said he was now suffering with no freedom and was having trouble obtaining a lawyer.

"I don’t have access to capital," he told Judge Sneathern. "I don’t have access to anything."

"You’ll have to find some way to do it," the judge replied.

"Can you get me a bond?" Silva pleaded.

"I’ve already declined to do that," said Sneathern, noting that Silva will be expected to have a lawyer for his next hearing on Feb. 16.

"Come on, judge. I wrote a letter—"

"That’s all, Mr. Silva," intoned Sneathern.

Silva kept talking and mentioned that he was going to lose his rented office space. And court records indicate that the landlord for Silva’s Downtown Mall office has scheduled a civil eviction hearing in this same court on December 6.

"You’re trying to take everything from me," Silva shouted. "That’s wrong."

"Officer," the judge said to an unseen jail official, "can you please take Mr. Silva out of here?"

A woman’s voice could then be heard on the jailhouse audio-video feed: "I’m still trying to get Mr. Silva out. One moment."

And then Silva disappeared from the screen.


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