WINCHESTER — The bond request of Quadell Alik Grimes, who has admitted to fatally shooting an unarmed man, was rejected in Winchester Circuit Court on Friday.
Arguments and testimony in the bond hearing took about 45 minutes, but Judge Brian Madden decided seconds after closing arguments concluded. Madden ruled Grimes’ presumption of innocence was outweighed by Winchester Commonwealth Attorney Marc H. Abrams’ contention that Grimes is a danger to the community and a flight risk.
Grimes admits he shot an unarmed Kevin Michael Riley in the chest in the parking lot of the Okinawa Japanese Restaurant on Oct. 28, but says it was in self-defense, according to his attorney William B. Mann. Mann previously told The Winchester Star that Grimes stopped at the Five Guys restaurant, which is next to the Okinawa restaurant at 571 Adams Drive, for a milkshake. Mann said Grimes wasn’t waiting there to ambush Riley who arrived with two friends to eat dinner at Okinawa.
Mann said Riley had previously threatened Grimes online and when he approached Grimes' SUV, Grimes shot him because he feared for his life. “There is a history between them and someone acted because of fear,” Mann said on Friday.
But Riley’s friend James Edward Payne testified Riley didn’t approach Grimes’ vehicle before being shot. Payne said he and Riley got out of a car driven by a friend who was dropping them off at the restaurant.
Payne said he started to walk toward the restaurant, and Riley was about 15 feet behind him. He said Riley was between the friend’s car and the killer’s vehicle, when he heard Riley say, “What’s up with that?” Payne said he then heard a shot and Riley collapsed while the driver of the SUV where the shot came from sped out of the parking lot.
“I didn’t see the person in it,” Payne said. “It happened so fast.”
Mann noted that Payne’s testimony contradicted the police criminal complaint. It said Riley’s friends told police Riley approached the vehicle before being shot.
Mann also attacked Payne’s credibility noting he was a convicted felon and that he had been drinking before the shooting. Payne testified he and Riley had about six beers each in the approximately three hours before the homicide. Payne denied he and Riley were drunk and said neither had used drugs.
While Grimes fled the scene to his home in Hagerstown, Maryland, after the killing, Mann said he called him the next morning. Mann then contacted police and prosecutors. He said Grimes agreed to turn himself in when charged and didn’t flee during the nine days between the killing and being charged with second-degree murder on Nov. 6. The 29-year-old Grimes grew up in Stephens City, and Mann said he would live there with his mother under GPS monitoring if granted bond.
Grimes was convicted of misdemeanor uttering profanities over public airways over an incident in 2011 in which he made death threats, but Mann said his criminal record is minimal. As a father of three young children, Grimes had an incentive not to flee, Mann said. And with jury trials suspended indefinitely in Virginia due to the coronavirus pandemic, Mann said Grimes could face prolonged time in jail if his case goes to trial.
Abrams countered that the actions that Grimes admitted to make him “inherently dangerous” and that he has not been as cooperative with authorities as Mann asserted. Abrams said Grimes hasn’t turned over the murder weapon or provided police with access to the BMW SUV he was driving when he fled the scene.
“He’s never been in the community facing what he does now,” Abrams said. “He’s got reason to leave.”
After the hearing, Mann reiterated that Grimes has been cooperative by promptly contacting authorities and turning himself in when charged. Asked why the gun used in the killing hasn’t been turned over to police, Mann said it wasn’t his responsibility.
“It’s never the job of a defense attorney to do the police’s investigation,” he said. “We did cooperate in a way that I don’t think is common in most cases and we cooperated immediately.”
Riley was a 29-year-old HVAC technician known for his colorful nature who was well known and liked around Winchester. About a dozen friends and relatives of Riley’s attended the hearing with some wearing T-shirts with pictures of him. Grimes’ mother and two of his children along with other relatives also attended.