A teenage girl was found guilty yesterday of second-degree murder for her role in the beating death of a Woodbridge woman who confronted a group of teenagers after a traffic dispute in June.
The verdict suggests that the jury in Prince William County Circuit Court believed that Kurebia Maria Hampton, the 17-year-old defendant, acted with malice but did not plan to kill Natalie Giles Davis, a 25-year-old mother of two who had been driving to church with family members.
Hampton, who had been charged as an adult with first-degree murder, stood emotionless as the verdict was read. Earlier, Hampton shed tears as she glanced around the courtroom, occasionally burying her head in her hands. Family members of both Hampton and Davis declined to comment.
William J. Baker, Hampton's attorney, said the teenager cried during a conversation with him after the verdict. "She's upset," Baker said. "I think she's very remorseful."
Jurors deliberated for a little more than three hours. Judge Herman A. Whisenant Jr. is scheduled to sentence Hampton on Feb. 10, when she could receive up to 40 years in prison.
Hampton was the second teenager convicted in the fatal beating. Teresa Hattie Dixon, 18, who also attacked Davis, was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in October, with a sentence recommendation of 2 1/2 years in prison. Hampton was among several teenage girls who pursued the car in which Davis was riding on June 29, after Davis asked the girls to move their car from the entrance to the Bentley Circle town house development. According to testimony in the two-day trial, Davis leaned out of her car and yelled, "I'll be back." Baker said Hampton perceived that as a threat.
Davis suffered the fatal blows to the head when she got out and confronted the girls after the two cars had jockeyed for position and then suddenly stopped.
Hampton, who testified in her own defense yesterday, told the court that after she got out of the car to confront Davis, Davis hit her across the side of her face. Hampton said that she "just reacted" and began to trade blows with Davis.
"I just grabbed her hair when we fell to the ground," Hampton said. She testified that she pushed on Davis's head in an attempt to get up, then kicked her after she became free. "My shirt was torn. My knee was bloody. It all happened too fast for me."
Hampton said she had no intention of getting involved in the fight, telling the court that she was merely a passenger in her friend's car. Lisa Dixon, 23, who was driving the car that pursued Davis, testified yesterday that Davis threw the first punch.
During cross-examination by Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney James Willett, Dixon testified that she saw Hampton repeatedly strike Davis's head against the concrete. Members of Davis's family who witnessed the fight also testified that Hampton got on top of Davis and slammed her head into the sidewalk several times.
The defense offered three witnesses and took less than an hour to present its case. Baker said in closing arguments that it was impossible to tell which blows killed Davis. He blamed Lisa Dixon for driving Hampton to the scene and said Teresa Dixon was responsible for the fatal blows.
Willett, who said that Hampton attacked Davis with an intent to kill, argued that Hampton was both malicious and well in control of her actions at the time of the beating. He said Hampton had to have been aware of the consequences of her actions.
"That curb and sidewalk, the way they were used, were deadly weapons," Willett said. "They were no different than if a rock or brick nearby were picked up and used to bludgeon her."
Baker said that he was disappointed with the verdict and that the entire case was tragic.
"We've got three lives ruined by this," Baker said. "The victim is dead, my client's facing several years in prison and the other girl was convicted of manslaughter. Over what? Disrespect? Is it worth it? It boggles my mind."
CAPTION: Kurebia Maria Hampton, 17, was the second teenager convicted in the death last summer of Natalie Giles Davis. Hampton faces up to 40 years in prison.