The attorney for a teenager accused of murdering a 25-year-old mother of two told a Prince William County jury yesterday that the girl doesn't deny slamming the victim's head into a sidewalk but never intended to kill her.
William J. Baker, the attorney for Kurebia Maria Hampton, said Natalie Giles Davis threw the first punch after Davis and a group of teenage girls including Hampton confronted each other on a Woodbridge street in June. Baker said that Hampton, now 17, was filled with "anger and passion" and that the fight that began over a blocked roadway escalated until Davis was left fatally beaten.
"This was not a deliberate, coldblooded killing," Baker said in his opening statement. "She got in a fight that was basically initiated by the victim. She went too far . . . but the evidence definitely does not show that my client intended to kill the victim."
Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney James Willett called seven witnesses to the stand as Hampton's trial opened in Circuit Court. His case centered on testimony from Davis's family members, who saw the fight, and on Hampton's statements to police. Prosecution witnesses testified that Hampton and Lisa Dixon, who has not been charged in connection with the incident, pursued Davis and her family after Davis yelled something out of her car window at the girls.
"I'm here to tell you that it doesn't matter who threw the first punch or who didn't, because someone died as a result of the incident, and she died in a most horrific fashion," Willett said in his opening statement. "It wasn't much of a contest."
Davis died a few days after the June 29 incident, which occurred near the entrance to the Bentley Circle town house community where Davis lived. She was traveling with a group of family members on her way to church services. They asked the girls to move their car, which had been partially blocking the exit of the town house community.
A 15-year-old cousin of Davis's who was in the car said that Davis leaned out and told the girls not to disrespect her aunt, who was driving the car. The cousin said Davis told them: "I live here, and I'll be back." Baker said Hampton interpreted that statement as a threat.
Hampton and the other teenagers allegedly pursued the car in which Davis was riding. She suffered the fatal injuries when she got out and confronted the girls after the two cars had stopped.
Baker attempted to place the blame for the killing on another member of the teenage group, Teresa Hattie Dixon, 18, who was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in October. Jurors in that trial decided that Dixon meant to kick Davis during the fight but did not intend to kill her. Dixon said that she lightly kicked Davis after watching Hampton grab the victim by her braids and slam her head into the concrete several times.
Prince William police officer Jeff Pyck testified that Hampton admitted her involvement shortly after the fight. Willett also placed in evidence the shirt Hampton wore during the incident. The shirt bears an emblem commonly linked to a Prince William gang.
Hampton, charged with first-degree murder, is expected to testify in her own defense after testimony resumes today. She sat emotionless in the courtroom yesterday, frequently glancing at family members.
CAPTION: Mary Ann Giles, left, weeps during her testimony in the trial of Kurebia Maria Hampton, right, charged with murder in the death of Giles's niece.