Defense Attorney: Defendant in Beating of 86-Year-Old Man Was Defending Girlfriend

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The attorney for a man accused of beating an 86-year-old man in Beltsville, Maryland, argued for his client’s release Tuesday, saying he was defending his girlfriend.

Julias Wright, 25, and his girlfriend, 44-year-old Christina Felder were charged with first- and second-degree assault. 

Video shows 86-year-old Johnny Shepherd getting punched to the ground and kicked over and over last month outside his condo complex.

Court documents say Felder was mad because Shepherd allegedly opened his car door and hit her car. Felder told police Shepherd pushed her first before she punched him in the face and called her boyfriend to help her.

That’s where the video begins.

“If you look at a video in isolation and if you just excise one snippet of that video, you can get the wrong impression, and that’s what we will show, that it doesn’t tell the whole story,” said Gabriel Christian, Wright’s attorney.

He said Wright is an electrician who does contracting work in Prince George’s County like installing security systems in people’s houses.


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“He’s a mild-mannered gentle giant,” he said.

“Working in people’s homes, no problem, he’s been an upstanding citizen, pretty much,” Christian said.

Court documents say after the attack Shepherd was hurt so badly, he was on a ventilator and had internal bleeding on his brain.

In court Tuesday, prosecutors dropped one of Felder’s assault charges, and a judge released her on personal recognizance.

The judge also said Wright can likely be released as long as he meets certain requirements, like having a place to stay and not possessing guns.

Wright’s attorney said if and when Wright is released from jail, he would go live with his grandmother in Hyattsville while awaiting trial.

The judge ordered both Wright and Felder to stay away from Shepherd. Defense attorneys in the case say Shepherd is doing better and is home from the hospital.

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