Union Hill Murder Update

Rachel DePompaRachel DePompa – bio | email 

This is a story one of those stories that strikes a nerve with many viewers. People have sent me countless emails debating whether or not Donald Driver should have been charged with second degree murder. (For those of you who have been in a vacuum, Driver is the Virginia Union student police say caught a man breaking into his girlfriend’s car. He ended up shooting and killing the alleged thief, Jamal Hollman.) Tonight we’ve learned A LOT more about exactly what happened on April 22nd at the intersection of 22nd and Leigh. 

We learned at a preliminary hearing today from one witness that Driver chased Hollman and fired at least six shots. Driver’s attorney says Hollman was hit three times. A witness who was walking his dog in alley saw part of the shooting. He heard two shots then he saw a man running and another man chasing with a gun. That witness told the judge he, “Didn’t see anything in his (Hollman’s) hands. He (Hollman) wasn’t making any threatening gestures or anything.” 

A police officer was a block away and actually heard the shooting. He arrived seconds later and testified that he saw Driver walking up Leigh Street. He says Driver told him, “Dude, just tried to break into my girlfriend’s car and i’ve got a gun.” (Driver then pointed to his waistband) The officer also said Driver told him he thought Hollman had a gun.

We learned today that NO second weapon was ever found. Police even brought in a dog that specializes in smelling firearms and they drained the sewers in Union Hill.  Hollman died wearing a black mask. On the ground was a paper bag allegedly full of stolen items. Police also found a watch and cell phone on the ground. 

Now this was just a preliminary hearing, so Driver has not yet had a chance to put on his defense. His attorney tells me there will be evidence of a brawl. He says Driver will testify that Hollman attacked him. Driver’s attorney says his client feared for his life. AND THAT IS THE KEY! In Virginia, you have no legal right to use deadly force to protect personal property. This is one of those cases that will truly need a jury of peers to decide what happened out there. The case heads to the grand jury on July 6th. That’s when I’ll have my next update.   

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