NEW: Attorney: Murder Trial Likely To Be Postponed
City Man Charged In Christmas Eve Slaying
The case of a Harrisonburg man accused of a murder on Christmas Eve likely won’t go on trial as scheduled in August, his new attorney suggested this morning.
Delano Fitz, 28, is charged with four counts: first-degree murder, possession of a weapon as a convicted felon, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. Fitz has claimed self-defense in the shooting death of Traman Turner outside his ex-girlfriend's townhouse.
Fitz, who is being held at Rockingham County Jail without bond, is set to go on trial Aug. 25. The jury trial is scheduled to last five days.
During a hearing this morning in Rockingham County Circuit Court, his new defense attorney, Lou Nagy, suggested he would ask Judge Bruce Albertson to delay the trial next week.
On Friday, Albertson appointed Nagy to replace attorney Aaron Graves, who was removed from the case because Graves learned he previously represented a witness for the prosecution.
Nagy asked for about a week to discuss the case with his client.
“I’d like to chat with him a bit more, so we can get on the same page,” Nagy said.
Albertson scheduled Fitz to appear in Court on June 17. On that day, the judge will likely set a new trial date.
Police say Fitz shot and killed Traman Turner after Turner arrived at his ex-girlfriend's Harrisonburg townhome to pick up his three children. Police say Fitz shot Turner, 27, at least four times in the parking lot of the Commerce Drive townhome complex.
Prosecutors say at least three shots hit Turner in the back. Medical examiners are still trying to determine whether the fourth shot also struck him in the back, or entered his chest.
Witness testimony during a preliminary hearing suggested that Fitz — the boyfriend of Turner's ex-girlfriend at the time of the shooting — thought it was a sign of disrespect for Turner to pick up his children while he was at the home.
Police say the two men argued in the parking lot outside the townhome before shots were fired.
The woman at the center of the dispute, Edasha Williams, initially told police that Turner was the aggressor, but later testified Fitz was the one who started the altercation.
Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6278 or firstname.lastname@example.org