Judge Declares Mistrial in Case of Fatal 2016 Wedding Caterer Stabbing

WASHINGTON — A judge declared a mistrial Friday in the case of the fatal stabbing of a caterer by a park employee after a wedding in Chantilly last August.

This comes a day after Kempton Bonds, of Clifton, Virginia, took the stand in his own defense.

According to NBC Washington, Bonds told jurors that he was defending himself when he pulled out a folding knife and stabbed chef Tyonne Johns, who was 35. He said she had put her hands around his neck and pushed him up against a railing.

Bonds recorded those tense moments on his cellphone. He can be heard shouting for the police on the recording and stayed on the scene, where he was arrested.

Bonds and Johns had argued over who owned the chairs that the caterer was loading onto a truck — Johns or the Fairfax County Park Authority — and the argument escalated.

Prosecutors said that the knife pierced John’s heart. During closing arguments, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Brandon Shapiro called Bonds the “sheriff,” who wouldn’t bend the rules and was disrepectful and condesending to the wedding party.

Shapiro said that other witnesses testified that Johns never touched Bonds, whom he said brought a knife to a fist fight.

Friends and family of Johns have described her as an excellent chef and suggested that Johns’ stabbing was the result of a hate crime.

NBC Washington’s David Culver contributed to this report from Fairfax, Va.

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