An Arlington man was convicted Tuesday of first-degree murder in the killing of his estranged wife, who was stabbed in her bedroom as their two young children slept nearby, a prosecutor said.
An Arlington Circuit Court jury deliberated for a day before issuing a guilty verdict against David Black, 45. He also was convicted of burglary while armed.
The killing occurred in spring 2015 as Black and his wife, 42-year-old Bonnie Delgado Black, neared the end of a contentious divorce battle.
Prosecutors said David Black entered his wife’s house sometime during the night of April 16, 2015, breaking through a screen door and leaving traces of his DNA, which were discovered in forensic tests.
He deftly navigated the cluttered basement, prosecutor Andrew Parker told jurors during the two-week trial, then made his way to Bonnie Black’s bedroom. There, Parker said, Black “unleashed his hate in a bloody rage” by plunging a knife into his wife’s heart and throat.
Parker, the Arlington County chief deputy commonwealth’s attorney, said Black had motive to kill his wife because he stood to gain financially from her death and was on the verge of losing a bitter divorce marked by custody disputes and protective orders.
During closing arguments Monday, Parker told jurors that Bonnie Black had been the target of her husband’s emotional and verbal abuse.
Parker said David Black had secretly placed a cellphone in his wife’s bathroom to take videos of her, which he then used to stockpile thousands of images. Black also told a friend, “I hope she dies,” Parker said, and asked whether the friend knew anyone who could “take care of her.”
The prosecutor also said Black seemed to know what had happened in his wife’s home, asking officers whether his wife was dead before they told him her body had been found.
Defense attorney Ryan Campbell argued that David Black was unfairly targeted from the beginning, telling the jury that police “saw only what they wanted to see and looked only where they wanted to look.”
Campbell said it was not surprising that David Black’s DNA was found at his wife’s house, as he had lived there for years before moving in 2014 to the couple’s second home, blocks away.
Bonnie Black’s body was discovered the morning of April 17, 2015, after a passerby saw her children, then 3 and 5 years old, wandering in the front yard of her south Arlington home. David Black was arrested about six months later.
After her death, police found a note Bonnie Black had left in her kitchen: “I am determined to have a different ending to my story,” she wrote.