The case against a teenager accused of murdering a Staunton man with special needs is moving forward.
Monday a judge denied a request to make this case closed to the public and certified murder charges to a grand jury.
Police found 26-year-old Julian Parrott dead on a golf course in Staunton's Gypsy Hill Park the morning of May 8. Sixteen-year-old Isaiah Stuart of Staunton is accused of killing him.
Typically, the names of juveniles involved in the courts are not released, but because of the judge's decisions Monday - and the fact that the teen will be tried as an adult - we now know the name of this teenage suspect. Stuart will face first-degree murder charges.
In testimony, officers said the night before Parrott’s body was found, Stuart and Parrott met on the golf course and a fight broke out after Parrott tried to get Stuart to engage in sexual behavior.
Police say Stuart told them he pulled out a knife and stabbed Parrott multiple times. Then, after Parrott tried to get away and yelled for help, Stuart realized what he'd done, and "wanted to make sure Julian didn't survive" so he continued stabbing Parrott. Police say a medical examiner's report reveals 30 to 40 stab wounds.
Parrott's aunts were among the many family members in court Monday as the judge certified the charges against Stuart. They say they’re happy with the decision to move the case forward.
“Nothing's going to bring Julian back but this brings closure to it,” said Suzanne Flach, Parrott’s aunt.
But even a guilty verdict, they say, won't fix the hole in their hearts
“He was the happiest, funniest goofiest kid that nothing ever brought him down. He was the light of the family and that's going to be missed,” Flach said.
As she decided to certify the charges and move this case to circuit court, the judge said to the whole courtroom, "I'm afraid it's only going to get harder for everyone in this room."
Neither the commonwealth's attorney nor Stuart's lawyer wants to comment on this case.
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