Gardner Trial Starts Today

By Falls Church Times Staff
April 24, 2012

Arlington County Circuit Judge Benjamin Kendrick and a jury of nine women and five men heard opening arguments today in the sexual battery case against Michael A. Gardner.

The judge and attorneys for the prosecution and defense spent the day Monday whittling the jury pool down and finished the job Tuesday. The trial began immediately thereafter and is expected to run through Friday and possibly Monday.

The judge rejected a motion by Gardner’s attorneys to hold two separate trials in the case, one each for allegations from June 16 and 18. The judge also said he would consider a defense motion to transport the jury to Gardner’s home to view the basement in which the alleged attacks took place. Defense attorneys argued that the basement was so dark that any attacker would have been difficult, if not impossible, to identify.

Five women among the prospective jurors were dismissed after indicating that they found the charges disturbing.

Family members of the alleged victims as well as friends of the defendant were in attendance at the proceedings.

Mr. Gardner, husband of Falls Church City Councilor Robin Gardner and a former head of the local Falls Church City Democratic Committee, was arrested June 22 after three girls accused him of touching them in a sexual manner during visits to the Gardner home the previous week.

The trial originally was scheduled for January, but was delayed after the defense asked to see records pertaining to therapy received by two of the girls. According to documents filed in Arlington, parents of the girls refused to give the prosecution the records, but were required to do so by the court, which also required them to be shared with the defense.

Washington’s NBC affiliate and other local news sources are actively covering the case.


April 24, 2012 


6 Responses to “Gardner Trial Starts Today”

  1. Teddy Rutledge on April 29th, 2012 8:43 am

    According to Ch 7 news, the FCPD did not go into the Gardner home to investigate until three weeks after the alleged abuse. Det. S. Richardson claims the FCPD was told to hold off because there was a possible “conflict of interest.” I call on the City Council, City Manager, and City Attorney to call for a complete investigation of the FCPD. Five RMDs stop one car for going through a red light but, they don’t investigate crime scenes??

  2. heymoron on April 29th, 2012 8:10 pm

    Hey Moron,

    The City manager, City council (minus one perosn) and the City attorney ahve been involved since day one. Nowhere does it say they didnt investigate for three weeks, it said they waited to execute the warrant for three weeks, at the request of the Arlington County Attorneys office. In case you dont remember, the Gardners hosted a fundraiser for the current Arlington County prosecutor before this case broke, so it my understandind that Arlington wanted to bring in another, special prosecutor from outside to take over the investigation and make sure everything was dones by the book without bias for or against anyone before they authorized any search warrants be done. That would be the responsonsible thing for Arlington to do, the cautious, not overzealos thing for FCPD to do. and the right thing to do.

  3. GOOD POINT on April 29th, 2012 8:23 pm

    That seems like a much more fair assesment of the situation. Im positive the city leadership, attorneys and elected officials have been briefed routinely throughout. Im sure there have been meetings after meetings after mettings, each held by competant persons in their own field (law enforcement, prosecution, civil litigation,City government, County government, etc) who have collectively met and gotten this case to this point. I think the checks and balances are in place already, especially as Greenspun tries to attack any hole he can. Also, what is an RMD? I have a feeling it is a slang term or derogitory term to describe out Policemen, and if your OK throwing around derogitory terms about a group of people, your discussion isn’t worth hearing.

  4. Stan Fendley, Falls Church City on April 29th, 2012 9:14 pm

    @HeyMoron (aka GOOD POINT),

    Please be reminded of the Falls Church Times comment policy, found in our “About” section. Specifically, in your case, our comment policy provides that “Anonymous comments will be held to a higher level of civility.” This is particularly true when someone posts under one anonymous name, like HeyMoron, and then uses another anonymous name, like GOODPOINT, to respond one’s own comment. We welcome your opinions, but you must play by the rules. If you do not have the courage to use your real name, please do not engage in name calling, and do not attempt to create the perception of a conversation between two people when you actually are posting multiple comments under different anonymous titles. In the past, you also have commented as MoCoGuy1 and NotSoFast. If you are not willing to post your real name, we would encourage you to at least pick one anonymous title and stick with it.

    Here is the FCT comment policy.

    Comment Policy
    1.All comments should be civil;
    2.Commenters should seek accuracy in statements of fact and should be open to correction of inaccuracies;
    3.We reserve the right to edit comments for grammar or typographical errors;
    4.We reserve the right to edit or delete offensive comments. Anonymous comments will be held to a higher level of civility and will be edited or deleted if, in our view, they are excessively harsh or critical;
    5.We encourage transparency, including use of commenters’ full names and cities of residence where possible. We believe such disclosure encourages the goals of civility and accuracy and adds credibility to commenters’ statements.

  5. TFC on April 30th, 2012 7:19 am

    @Stan: thanks for sniffing this out.

  6. FCC Resident on May 1st, 2012 4:38 pm

    Thank you Stan, I was appalled at that poster’s “Hey Moron” response. It appears Hey Moron needs to take a look in the mirror

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