VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A jury has been seated in the trial of a man who hit a Virginia Beach police officer with his car at the Oceanfront in March 2021.
The officer was taken to the hospital, with injuries police said were not life-threatening.
26-year-old Malik Kearney faced a number of charges after his arrest, including DUI, eluding police and hit-and-run. During Kearney’s hearing on April 26, new firearms charges were revealed, including 10 counts of discharging a firearm in public.
The first day of the trial wrapped up around 5 p.m. During opening statements, both the commonwealth and the defense made it clear that this incident was captured on multiple cameras. In police body camera videos aired in court, you could see the officer get hit near his right hip, then fall to the ground and struggle to get up.
Kearney’s defense lawyer Curtis Rogers aired video showing an officer conducting a DUI test on Kearney, which Rogers argued was done improperly. He argued the DUI charge should be dropped.
Prosecutors outlined their timeline of events during their opening statements and revealed the additional gun-related charges. They argued ballistics tests prove ten shell casings found near where Kearney was allegedly parked prove he fired multiple rounds in the parking lot off Pacific Avenue and 19th Street. They also said while waiting to leave the parking lot, Kearney went around a line, attempting to exit through the entrance, which is when he allegedly hit a Virginia Beach police officer.
The Commonwealth said it will present almost 20 witnesses, many of them officers who witnessed the accident.
That incident happened the same weekend chaos broke out at the Oceanfront, resulting in the deaths of Donovon Lynch and Deshayla Harris. Jury selection took several hours to complete Tuesday, in part because it was difficult isolating jurors who didn’t hear about the events from that night.
The trial will resume Wednesday morning and is expected to last about a week.