VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The suspect accused of beating a man to death outside a Virginia Beach bar was granted a $50,000 bond on Thursday morning.
Wesley Horbal, 26, was quiet as he appeared before the judge. His attorney called four witnesses to speak on his behalf: His mother, his brother, his boss and an eyewitness to the fight.
“It is our opinion at this point that he did what he needed to do to protect himself,” said Happy O’Brien, Horbal’s attorney.
Horbal is facing one count of voluntary manslaughter for the fight that happened outside CP Shuckers, the popular restaurant on Shore Drive, on August 11th. The victim, 52-year-old Jon Moore, died at the hospital after the fight happened.
Horbal told police he slammed the victim to the ground before kicking him, causing “severe skull fractures and brain bleeding,” according to records obtained by 10 On Your Side.
Horbal was arrested on August 29.
In court on Thursday, prosecutors said something led to Moore throw two bottles at Horbal. Horbal then chased Moore down before kicking him and causing the severe injuries, the prosecutor said.
“[The bottle] hit my client in the back of the head. When my client went to address the situation and confront the gentleman, instead of any response, the gentleman had another bottle in his hand and took a swing at my client with the bottle,” O’Brien said.
Moore’s family and friend’s said it wasn’t in his nature to start fights.
“Jon is not an instigator or fighter in any form,” said a friend, who tells 10 On Your Side she grew up with the victim on the Eastern Shore.
“He was just a jovial soul who loved to laugh,” she said.
In court on Thursday, O’Brien pointed out that the evidence may point to self-defense. The judge said he had some doubt about that.
There is video evidence of the assault, which O’Brien said he has not yet had time to review. He said it’s too early in the investigation to say for sure that they will argue self-defense, but that it’s a likely avenue.
“Mr. Moore was the instigator in this, and continued to instigate the incident in the parking lot, and ramped it up with the second bottle that hit my client,” he said.
Moore’s death is the second one to happen outside the popular bar this summer. On July 5, a man died after getting hit by a car during a fight outside CP Shuckers.
CP Shuckers refused to comment on the deaths.