Year in Jail for Assault and Battery

Year in Jail for Assault and Battery

Convicted of striking a man in the head with a baseball bat in a Chantilly apartment, Christopher A. Lawrence, 21, was recently sentenced to a year in jail. Fairfax County police originally charged him with malicious wounding, but it was later reduced to assault and battery.

In an Oct. 9, 2005 affidavit for a search warrant to seek possible evidence in Lawrence's car, Fairfax County Master Police Officer Jayne Woolf of the Fair Oaks District Station, detailed the case against him.

SHE WROTE that, on that date at 6:05 a.m., she responded to a 911 call for an assault with a weapon on Blueberry Lane in the Shenandoah Crossing apartment complex in Chantilly.

When Woolf arrived, she saw a 24-year-old man "lying on the living-room floor [while] being treated by rescue units for a head injury." And she noted that blood was coming from his head.

Her investigation revealed that a party had begun at that apartment around 11 p.m., with several people attending. And, she added, "A considerable amount of alcohol was consumed throughout the night" by the partygoers.

Shortly before 6 a.m., wrote Woolf, Lawrence, of 3448 Belle Plane Court in Dumfries, and a female friend went outside to sit in his car, a 2001 Kia Optima. According to the affidavit, "Three of the men attending the party came out onto the balcony and became upset when they saw [Lawrence] and the female in the car together."

Woolf wrote that the men began throwing "what is believed to be glass beer bottles" at Lawrence's vehicle. As a result, he became angry and went upstairs to the apartment to confront the men, she stated. An argument ensued, and Lawrence tried to go into a bedroom to wake his friend for assistance.

"AT THIS TIME, the three men got into a physical confrontation with [Lawrence], and [he] was punched in the face and knocked to the ground, causing [him] to bleed from the head," wrote Woolf. He then stood up and ran out of the apartment to his car.

Woolf stated that two other men also ran out of the apartment to again confront Lawrence and walked down the stairs to the second-story landing. "The suspect, Christopher A. Lawrence, was seen exiting his vehicle with a metal baseball bat," wrote Woof. "[He] ran up the stairs to the second-story landing and swung the baseball bat, striking the victim in the head."

According to the affidavit, Lawrence immediately ran back to his car with the bat and left the scene. The victim was carried by others back inside the apartment and 911 was called. He was initially transported to Inova Fair Oaks Hospital for treatment of his head injury, but was transferred to Inova Fairfax Hospital because of bleeding in his brain, wrote Woolf, "as a result of the injuries [he'd] sustained."

Then, after medical staff at Inova Fairfax advised her that the victim's injury had become life-threatening, she obtained a warrant for Lawrence's arrest, charging him with malicious wounding. He turned himself in to police, around 1 p.m. that same day.

He appeared Dec. 19 in General District Court and pleaded "no contest" to a reduced charge of misdemeanor assault and battery. Judge Mitchell Mutnick then sentenced him to 12 months in jail.