A 25-year-old Fort Washington, Maryland man who authorities say is the individual caught on video beating and fatally wounding an 87-year-old man now faces a murder charge in connection with the June 2 incident.
It’s alleged that Julias Wright is responsible for Johnny Shepherd’s death, which occurred more than a month after the violence. An obituary says that Shepherd died on July 28. Several weeks later, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on Sept. 9 ruled the death a homicide caused by “complications of blunt force head injuries,” the Prince George’s County Police Department said Thursday.
Police said the June attack took place in a residential parking lot in Beltsville, where there was some sort of dispute about car damage.
“The victim, a man in his 80s, suffered critical injuries. The assault was captured on surveillance video. On the video, the suspect is seen repeatedly striking the victim. The suspect fled the area in the pictured white pickup truck,” police said at the time, adding that the attack “may have stemmed from a dispute over damage to the door of a car parked in the lot.”
Maj. Jason Fisher referred to the “brutality” of the attack as “disturbing.”
The video, which is indeed disturbing to watch but available online, shows the suspect walking up to Shepherd with his right hand in his pocket. The suspect then throws a left, causing Shepherd to fall onto the sidewalk and into nearby bushes. The suspect can be seen holding Shepherd down with his left arm while repeatedly throwing punches with his right hand.
The suspect then stomped on the elderly man and stood over the victim, surveillance video shows.
NBC Washington reported that 44-year-old Christina Felder, identified as Wright’s girlfriend, had claimed that the victim damaged her car and pushed her.
“Felder told police that Shepherd pushed her, she punched him in the face and she called Wright, her boyfriend, and asked him to to help her,” according to the report.
Initially facing only assault and reckless endangerment charges, Wright now faces a murder charge. Felder reportedly faces charges of assault and solicitation of assault.
Law&Crime reached out to Wright’s attorney Gabriel Christian for comment. Christian, who previously identified his client as an electrician, reportedly said in July that the video “doesn’t tell the whole story.”
“If you look at a video in isolation and if you just excise one snippet of that video, you can get the wrong impression,” the defense lawyer reportedly told NBC Washington, calling his client a “mild-mannered gentle giant.”
[Image via PGPD]
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