May 23, 2013
The abduction trial centered around a Barboursville resident, entered its fourth day Thursday, with the defendant taking the witness stand to tell his side of the story.
Mark Weiner told the jury of six men and six women that he was on his way home from class at Piedmont Virginia Community College on the night of December 12, 2012, when he decided to stop at the Lucky Seven on Market Street in Charlottesville.
In the parking lot of the convenience store is where Weiner said he first met the alleged victim and offered her a ride to her mother's house on Pantops.
Earlier this week the alleged victim testified once she got into Weiner's white, Dodge van, he drugged her and took her to an abandoned house in Albemarle County where she regained consciousness and was able to escape.
Weiner's version of events was very different. He testified he gave the woman a ride home and she gave him her phone number before getting out of the van, and that was the last he saw of her.
Closing arguments are scheduled to begin in Albemarle County Circuit Court on Friday morning, before the case is turned over to the jury. Weiner is facing one charge of abduction with intent to defile, which carries a possible life sentence.
May 22, 2013
What was supposed to be a one-day trial for an abduction in Albemarle County will extend into its third day on Thursday.
Barboursville resident Mark Weiner is accused of felony abduction with intent to defile a 20-year-old Charlottesville woman.
The alleged incident took place in December. The 20-year-old alleged victim, who testified in court on Tuesday, said she was leaving the Charlottesville home of her boyfriend to go to her mother's home on Pantops in Albemarle County around 11:30 p.m.
When she was walking along East Market Street, Weiner allegedly approached her in the Lucky 7 parking lot and offered a ride. The two did not know each other before.
The alleged victim testified Weiner drove past her mother's home, began rubbing her leg, drugged her and took her to an abandoned house on Richmond Road in Albemarle County. The jury also saw text messages from Weiner's phone to the alleged victim's boyfriend, saying things like "she's sexy when she's passed out" and "I'm going to warm her up."
She testified she was able to escape from the home later by jumping off a second-floor balcony.
The prosecution rested its case on Wednesday afternoon.
Defense attorney Ford Childress said none of the evidence shows Weiner had any intent to sexually assault the victim. He brought in toxicologists, forensic experts and other investigators to say the victim was not drugged and that Weiner was not trying to take advantage of her.
Childress often sparred with commonwealth's attorney Denise Lunsford, creating numerous delays throughout the proceedings. The two often disagreed over questions to the witnesses and what the jury is able to hear and see.
The trial will continue Thursday at 8:30 a.m.