Junior Claims Another Suspect Could be Charged in Alleged Fight on Sept. 18
HARRISONBURG, Va. — Three charges, including two felonies, against JMU junior Colin J. Fitz-Maurice were dropped in Rockingham district court Oct. 28.
Fitz-Maurice, 20, from Newtown, Penn., was arrested Sept. 18 for felonious assault and malicious wounding by mob, as well as a misdemeanor of unlawful possession of an alcoholic beverage. The alleged assault took place around 11 p.m. at the Liberty gas station parking lot on Port Republic Road.
Two other JMU students, junior Markus W. Hunter, 20, from High Point, N.C., and sophomore Connor Long, 19, from Newtown, Penn., were also charged with felonious assault and malicious wounding by mob. The two will appear in Rockingham/Harrisonburg General District Court at 2 p.m. on Nov. 18.
The case was moved from Oct. 28 because the Commonwealth’s attorney asked for more time to prepare evidence. Long said he is confident that the case will go in his favor since several eyewitnesses will testify on the behalf of him and Hunter.
The victim, whose name was not released because of police policy, was taken to Rockingham Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
After the fight, Fitz-Maurice said he left the scene and walked up Port Republic Road, where police later arrested him, because he seemed to fit a description from a witness. Fitz-Maurice was held in jail until a bond hearing Sept. 22 due to prior alcohol charges. Long and Hunter were released on bond Sept. 21.
Fitz-Maurice said another student involved in the assault ran away from the scene and has not been charged for his involvement.
Fitz-Maurice was medically red-shirted from JMU’s football team after a career-ending neck injury in Spring 2009. He said he continues to work in the team’s office to maintain his scholarship. Hunter was a tailback on the team at the beginning of the season but has since been removed from the roster.
Malicious wounding by mob, a Class 3 felony, which requires “the intent to maim, disable, disfigure or kill” according to Virginia Code 18.2-41, can carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Malicious wounding or felonious assault, according to statute 18.2-51, is a Class 6 felony punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a $2,500 fine.
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