Chesapeake security guard charged with murder in court

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - A former security guard charged with the shooting death of a 60-year-old man in Chesapeake's Riverwalk neighborhood is scheduled to face a judge Tuesday morning in Chesapeake General District Court.

Johnathan Cromwell was charged with second degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a murder.

Johnathan Cromwell was arrested in January after police say he shot and killed 60-year-old, Jian Sheng Chen in the Riverwalk Park area. At the time of the incident, Cromwell was a security guard for the neighborhood.

During Tuesday's preliminary hearing, Cromwell stared straight ahead for more than an hour as several members of law enforcement and a forensic pathologist shared their findings with a packed court room.

Police and detectives who were on the scene the night of the shooting say there was a lot of  broken glass and numerous shell casings on the ground. They say they there were five bullet holes in the windshield of the car Chen was driving.

Police say Cromwell admitted to shooting Chen first through the driver's side window and then side stepping towards the front of the van, while continuing to fire.

According to Cromwell's lawyer, the 22-year-old was acting in self defense. They say Chen was trespassing in the area and drove his car towards Cromwell before shots were fired.

A forensic pathologist says Chen died as a result of the five gun shot wounds. She told the court the bullets were not fired at a close range.

Cromwell has been behind bars since his arrest. He has been denied bond twice. His attorney asked the judge to lessen Cromwell's charge from second degree murder, claiming the evidence showed Cromwell was justified in his actions of shooting Chen. The judge disagreed with Cromwell's attorney. A trial date for Cromwell has not yet been set.

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