Man ran down two brothers in Gaithersburg with his car.

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]
Montgomery county murder lawyer
St. John Barned-Smith,
This story was updated on May 14, 2013.

A Damascus man accused of running down two Potomac men in December with his mother’s black Honda Civic — killing one and injuring the other — pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder and first-degree assault.

Fernando Josue Valenzuela, 21, faces 20 years in prison for the crime, according to his plea agreement. He could have faced up to 55 years if found guilty in a trial.

Valenzuela had gotten off work at around 10 p.m. Dec. 4. He and friends bought some Blue Moon beers and drank together, before driving to a nearby McDonald’s restaurant to eat, Assistant State’s Attorney Eric Nee said in court.

Witnesses told prosecutors that Valenzuela is “somewhat shy” when sober, but more combative when he drinks, Nee said.

The restaurant was closed, he said. Instead, they went to a 7-Eleven convenience store across the street, where they met Billie and James Genies,  two brothers from Tobytown Drive in Potomac. The brothers asked Valenzuela for a ride to Gaithersburg, and said they would give him and his friends some marijuana for the ride.

“Things between the young men were very cordial,” Nee said. “There was no animosity.”

In Gaithersburg, the men got out of the car near Lakeforest mall to relieve themselves, Nee said.

Nee told Judge David Boynton that as Valenzuela got back into his car, the Genies brothers began walking away, without paying Valenzuela or giving him any marijuana.

Valenzuela became angry and started following them slowly in the car, Nee said.

Valenzuela told two other passengers in the car, “I’m going to hit them. I’m going to run them over,” Nee said. He sped up, passed them and circled back around. Then, he swerved toward the brothers, and plowed into them near the entrance to The Avalon School.

Police couldn’t determine how fast the car had been going, but “the force … knocked them out of their shoes,” Nee said. The impact demolished the Honda’s windshield, he said, and dented its hood.

Valenzuela drove off, abandoned the car nearby and called a friend, who drove him back to Damascus, Nee said.

James Genies, 35, was knocked unconscious by the impact. After he woke up, he ran to his girlfriend’s house and called police, who found the brothers’ shoes, hats, and cellphones strewn across West Diamond Avenue near The Avalon School when they arrived.

Billie Genies was suffering from “massive trauma to his head,” according to Valenzuela’s charging documents. He died at the scene.

Rescue personnel took his brother, James, to a local hospital for his injuries, which were not life-threatening.

Valenzuela’s father, Edgar Fernando Valenzuela, said in an interview that his son called him around 3 a.m., shortly after the accident.

“It surprised me when they said somebody was dead. … I didn’t believe it at first. My son is a good son,” Valenzuela said.

His son, the second of five, worked full time in construction, as well as at Chipotle, while he saved to go to college, he said.

The elder Valenzuela said his son decided to plead guilty while in protective custody in jail.

“It broke my heart,” he said of his son’s decision to plead guilty to the charges.

“He didn’t feel good about what he did to the Genies family,” Valenzuela said.

Valenzuela pleaded guilty to the “depraved heart” version of second-degree murder, meaning he acted with “extreme indifference for human life,” but didn’t necessary intend his victim’s death, said Andy Jezic, his lawyer.

Valenzuela is in protective custody in the jail because James Genies is an inmate there, as well, Jezic said.

Genies was arrested in February in a separate incident and charged with second-degree assault, resisting arrest, and other charges, online court records show. He has a trial date scheduled this month in Rockville District Court.

His family members, including his mother and grandmother, declined to speak to media after Valenzuela’s plea.

Ramon Korionoff, a spokesman for the county’s State’s Attorneys Office, said the plea held Valenzuela accountable for his actions, which showed “callousness and disregard” for his victims’ safety.

Valenzuela is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 1.



FREE CONSULTATION

(240)292-7200

Locations

Awards

  • Wanted Wednesday
    Surveillance Video of Armed RobberyThis week we’re starting Wanted Wednesday with surveillance video that captures a brazen robbery at a business in Capitol Heights. This happened back on June 13th. On the video, two suspects in a blue car stop at the business. A victim approaches the car and the suspects immediately begin to rob […]
  • PGPD Investigates Domestic-Related Murder/Suicide in Upper Marlboro
    The Homicide Unit is investigating a domestic-related murder/suicide in Upper Marlboro. The victim is 54-year-old Bernard Williams of Miller Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. The suspect is 53-year-old Kiwa Toomer of the 14000 block of New Arcadia Lane. The victim and suspect were in a relationship.On August 15th, at about 7:45 pm, officers were called to […]
  • Important cancellation message regarding Seat Pleasant Kevin Durant Day
    In support of the City of Seat Pleasant, the Prince George's County Police Department is sharing the following message: The festival scheduled for Kevin Durant Day in the City of Seat Pleasant this Thursday, August 17th, 2017 is CANCELLED.   The parade only will go on as scheduled from 10 am to 11 am. All media inquiries are being handled by […]
  • Detectives Arrest Suspect in Capitol Heights Homicide
    Martinez Ferrell Detectives with our Homicide Unit identified and arrested a suspect wanted for a recent homicide in Capitol Heights. The suspect is 38-year-old Martinez Ferrell of the 1000 block of Atlee Drive in Landover. He’s charged with the fatal shooting of 29-year-old Kevin Hawkins of Harrods Way in Landover. On July 29th, at about 11:30 […]
  • Detectives Investigate Fatal Shooting in Lanham
    Detectives with our Homicide Unit are conducting an investigation into a fatal shooting in Lanham last Friday. The victim is 24-year-old Troy Foster of Valley Terrace in Southeast DC. A reward of up to $25,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest and indictment in this case. Tipsters will never have to give […]
  • Two Teens Arrested for July Homicide in Adelphi
    Elias PortilloHomicide Unit detectives arrested two teenage suspects in connection with the fatal stabbing of a 47-year-old man. One suspect is 14-year-old Elias Portillo of the 7900 block of 18th Avenue in Adelphi. He is charged as an adult. The second suspect is a 13-year-old male. He is charged as a juvenile. The suspects are charged with […]
Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Google PlusVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On Linkedin