Police charge boy, 15,with murder in stabbing

By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A 15-year-old Fairfax County boy was arrested Tuesday and charged with murder in the stabbing death of another teenager in the Rose Hill area of eastern Fairfax.

Police say they think that Wyatt Campbell, 18, was involved in an altercation with two other teens behind the Rose Hill Shopping Center the night of Oct. 14. Campbell was driven to the Inova Springfield Healthplex clinic, where he died shortly after he arrived.

Court records show that Fairfax homicide detectives soon focused on two brothers from the Rose Hill area as suspects. According to a search warrant affidavit, the boys were interviewed Oct. 16 by Detective Daniel Bibeault and admitted to attacking Campbell.

The teens were not immediately charged. But after gathering more evidence, police obtained a second-degree murder warrant against one of the youths Tuesday, and he surrendered at 10:30 a.m., police said.

The Washington Post typically does not identify juvenile suspects unless they are charged as an adult.

Under Virginia law, juvenile suspects have preliminary motions and hearings in juvenile court. But if they are 14 or older, the case must be tried in circuit court if the juvenile court finds probable cause that the defendant committed murder.

If convicted, a juvenile in Virginia still can be sentenced under juvenile court laws, with maximum incarceration up to age 21, or under adult circuit court laws, with penalties ranging up to life in prison.

Fairfax prosecutors infrequently seek death sentences. But they have successfully prosecuted teens as young as 14 for murder, and a 17-year-old who killed his girlfriend was sentenced last week to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder.

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