Charlottesville's Second Murder

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

May 4, 2005

Charlottesville police have charged one man with voluntary manslaughter for the death of 50-year old Gregory Eugene Johnson. They say this murder was not an accident.

Officials released details of the murder on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 4th, although the murder itself occurred days prior.

Johnson died in a hospital on Sunday, May 1st from injuries he suffered during a fight. Johnson, described by friends as a loving person, was trying to keep the peace following his own mother's funeral.

It happened inside the Westhaven Apartment complex on the 800 block of Hardy Drive in Charlottesville. Gregory Johnson, along with four of his nephews from Orange, Virginia, were visiting friends after a funeral for Johnson's mother. According to police, while visiting, they started drinking, arguing, and fighting.

"They wanted to fight among themselves. They were not fighting any outsiders, and at this time it got kind of bad," said a witness at the apartment complex.

So bad, a call was made to police warning them a fight was about to get out of control. Police arrived on the scene, and found Johnson and three of his four nephews arguing in a nearby driveway. Also arriving at the scene was 31-year-old Sean Orlando Scott.

Scott, who was heading into the apartment to check on his four month old child, yelled at the four men to stop arguing. One of Johnson's nephews exchanged words with Scott. According to a witness, Johnson saw the two arguing, and went to break them up, so he could properly grieve for his mother.

"There were quite a few people who were running around screaming and yelling. Mr. Johnson was lying on the ground unconscious. We took him to a hospital where he was never able to leave," said Lieutenant Gary Pleasants, of the Charlottesville Police Department.

Police say the victim died from severe head injuries at University of Virginia's Medical Center after being knocked to the ground while trying to break up the fight.

31-year-old Sean Orlando Scott of Charlottesville surrendered this morning, and has been charged with voluntary manslaughter in Johnson's death.

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