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Alexandria man guilty of voluntary manslaughter in killing

A Fairfax County jury found an Alexandria man guilty of voluntary manslaughter and recommended he get two-and-a-half years in prison for killing an acquaintance in January.

Glen A. Roberson, 44, had pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder in connection with the slaying of Dennis Bryant, the father of his girlfriend’s child.

Roberson got into a heated argument with Bryant, 47, of Alexandria on Jan 21. The fight escalated to blows and Roberson stabbed Bryant with a kitchen knife multiple times. Defense attorneys had argued Roberson was acting in self defense.

Bryant died from his wounds at Inova Fairfax Hospital a couple of days later. It was Fairfax County’s first homicide in 2011.

The fight began after Roberson found his girlfriend and Bryant speaking on the street, said Roberson’s attorney William Parker.

Roberson and Bryant exchanged words about the girlfriend and a scuffle ensued. Roberson thought Bryant was trying to grab a knife in his pocket, Parker said. Roberson then pulled the blade out and stabbed Bryant in the upper body. Both remained on the scene until police arrived.

At the time, Bryant’s wounds were not thought to be life-threatening.

“I was a little disappointed the jury didn’t believe the self defense argument, but a two-and-a-half year sentence for manslaughter is fair,” said Kyle Courtnall, an attorney for Roberson.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Mark Oberndorf declined to comment on the case.

The jury returned its verdict late Friday after deliberating for more than day. Jurors returned to work on Tuesday and issued the sentencing recommendation. A Fairfax County judge can accept the sentence imposed, or lower it, but not increase it at a sentencing hearing on December 1.

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