A wedding in Fairfax, Virginia, ended with the fatal stabbing of a 35-year-old caterer. Tyonne D. Johns owned a catering company and was working for a wedding that took place in Ellanor C. Lawrence Park on Saturday night.
At the end of the wedding, a dispute between Johns and park employee Kempton A. Bonds, 19, started over chairs. When Johns began packing up the folding chairs that she claimed she owned, Bonds argued that the chair belonged to the park.
Witnesses saw the two argue for only a few minutes when Bonds pulled out a three-inch pocket knife and began stabbing Johns in the upper body. Johns was rushed to a local hospital where she later died from her severe injuries.
Johns was a lesbian, and many of her friends are now coming forward to call the killing a hate crime. Seymone Spence was a close friend of Johns and also part of the LGBTQ community. She worked as a bartender with Johns during the wedding, and she felt that Bonds’s behavior was indicative of intolerance.
“He had no respect for us. The way he talked to us, the way he tried to dictate everything around us was just wrong,” Spence told WUSA 9.
Police have not yet classified the murder as an act of hate.
Earlier in the evening, Bonds had shut off the power and called the police to report a noise complaint on the wedding party he was helping to facilitate. Once police arrived on the scene, they were told the issue had been resolved.
Nick Martin, 19, a friend of Bonds, said Bonds attends Northern Virginia Community College.
“It’s all so surreal,” he said. “He’s one of my good friends and it never seemed like he could even hurt a fly. I can’t imagine he’d do something like this.”
Bonds is currently being held without bond on the second degree murder charge.
(Photo from left: Tyonne D. Johns via Facebook, Fairfax County Police)