Gardner Case Referred to Arlington Grand Jury

July 12, 2011 by George Bromley · 19 Comments 

Falls Church Times Staff

July 12, 2011

Michael Gardner, facing charges of sexual abuse involving three young girls, appeared today for a preliminary hearing in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.  After listening to explicit testimony from each girl, Judge Esther Wiggins declared she had found probable cause and referred the case to the Grand Jury of the Arlington Circuit Court. 

The Grand Jury will convene on Thursday, July 21 and may hand down an indictment.  Mr. Gardner has been charged with aggravated sexual battery and object sexual penetration.  Two of the girls are 10 years old and one is 9.

Judge Wiggins initially closed the Court to all but those directly involved in the case and the girls’ parents.  However, after 40 minutes she reversed her ruling and opened the courtroom to reporters and spectators.

The girls, all of whom testified separately, were first questioned by prosecutor Nicole Wittman.  She asked relatively few questions, first requesting each girl to identify Mr. Gardner and then to describe the nature of the alleged abuse.

Defense counsel Peter Greenspun then cross-examined each girl, asking many more questions and meeting occasional objections from Ms. Wittman, which Judge Wiggins generally sustained.  Each girl’s parents accompanied them to the witness stand, sitting directly to their left.  All three girls maintained their composure throughout the questioning. 

One girl recounted two incidents, several minutes apart.  During his cross-examination Mr. Greenspun sought to determine the length of each by timing the girl’s recollection, first saying “start” and then waiting until the witness said “stop.”   Times of 19 and 24 seconds were recorded.

Another girl testified that the accused asked her “Did that feel good.”  She said she responded “No.”

The events at issue occurred on the night of June 18, when two of the girls attended a slumber party at the Gardner home, and on the night of June 16, when the third girl slept over at the house.  Mr. Gardner was arrested on June 22 and was released the following day on $50,000 bond.

At the close of the hearing Mr. Greenspun asked that the Court allow Mr. Gardner to see his two children, a restriction imposed on the condition of his bond.  However, Judge Wiggins refused the request, saying she would rather err on the side of caution. 

Prior to the hearing, Mr. Gardner sat with his wife Robin and his attorney.  However, she did not accompany her husband, either when he entered City Hall or when  he left. 

Mr. Greenspun, who has replaced Brian O’Connor as Mr. Gardner’s counsel, is a well-known criminal defense attorney.  Previous clients have included D.C. sniper John Allen Muhammad and famed sportscaster Marv Albert.

The Gardner case has attracted considerable attention in the local news media.  Reporters from Falls Church Patch, the News-Press, and three area television stations attended today’s hearing.

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Crime Report for July 5 – 11

July 12, 2011 by (see byline) · Leave a Comment 


July 12, 2011

Felony Driving Under the Influence, and Refusal to Submit to a Breath or Blood Test, 1100 block St. W. Broad St.  On July 5, 1:16 a.m., an officer conducted a traffic stop for a motor vehicle violation.  The driver, a 28 year old Sterling man, was arrested for Felony Driving Under the Influence (third offense) and Refusal to Submit to a Breath or Blood Test.

Narcotics Violations, 200 block E. Fairfax St. On July 6, 8:21 a.m., a 16 year-old juvenile was arrested for Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Aggravated Assault, 422 S. Maple Ave. (Cavalier Trail Park).  On July 6, 8:51 p.m., approximately five black males on bicycles, ages 13-18, approached the victims and attacked them after demanding their personal belongings.  The two juvenile victims were treated for minor injuries and released from local hospitals. 

Trespassing, 6757 Wilson Blvd. (Eden Center).  On July 7, 12:49 p.m., police responded to the area after receiving a report of an individual on the property after having been banned.  A 48 year old Annandale man was arrested for Trespassing.

Domestic Assault and Destruction of Property, 140 block S. Maple Ave.  On July 7, 6:46 p.m., police responded to the area for an assault which had just occurred. The suspect also damaged the victim’s laptop computer and damaged the victim’s vehicle.  The suspect fled the area before police arrival.  An investigation led to the arrest of a 20 year od Annandale man for Assaulting a Family Member and two counts of Destruction of Property.

Narcotics Violation, 300 block W. Broad St.  On July 8, 12:15 a.m., an officer conducted a traffic stop for a motor vehicle violation.  The driver, a 22 year old Arlington man, was arrested for Possession of Cocaine.  The passenger, a 40 year old Falls Church man, was arrested for Possession of Cocaine.

Public Drunkenness, 444 W. Broad St.  On July 8, 7:52 p.m., a 58 year old man of  no fixed address was arrested for Public Drunkenness.

Graffiti, 801 N. Roosevelt St.  (Oakwood Cemetery).  On July 9, 8:17 p.m., an officer observed a monument defaced in the cemetery.

Public Drunkenness, 6607 block Wilson Blvd. (BJ’s Wholesale).  On July 9, 2:55 a.m., a 33 year old Falls Church man was arrested for Public Drunkenness.  He was also served a Federal Warrant for Failure to Appear at a Deportation Hearing.

Public Drunkenness, 6700 block Wilson Blvd.  On July 10, 2:23 a.m., a 33 year old Silver Spring, MD man was arrested for Public Drunkenness. 

Narcotics Violation, 300 block N. West St.  On July 10, 3:01 a.m., a 16 year-old juvenile was arrested for Possession of Marijuana.

Larceny from Building, 400 block N. Maple Ave.   On July 10, 12:31 p.m., an unsecure bicycle was reported stolen.  The bicycle was last seen by the victim on June 30.

Permitting Smoking In a Non-Designated Area, 6757 Wilson Blvd. #16 (Café Le Mirage).  On July 11, 10:49 p.m., an officer observed extinguished cigarettes throughout the restaurant.  The owner, a 35 year old Springfield man was arrested for Permitting Smoking In a Non-Designated Area.

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SATURDAY 7/16: Habitat Restoration Team will restore local habitats in our parks.

July 12, 2011 by Steven Valley · 2 Comments 

Join the Habitat Restoration Team in helping restore local habitats in our parks. Our next event is Saturday, July 16th, 10am-noon in Crossman Park.

This is take-two for Crossman Park. It was rained out by a major downpour in April. Luckily, the weather looks good for Saturday with the temperature dropping into the 80′s.

Crossman has major ivy and bamboo issues. A large portion of the bamboo has been removed, but some shoots and runners remain that need to be removed. Ivy has started to climb trees again especially near Gresham Place and needs to be cut and cleared around the base of trees.

Directions for this event: From the intersection of rt. 7 and rt. 29, head north on rt. 29. Turn right on to East Columbia Street then take a left onto Van Buren Street. Enter park from Van Buren Street near the playground and bridge over four-mile run.

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