VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A laptop computer believed to have belonged to the Virginia Beach mass shooter is still not in the hands of law enforcement, but 10 On Your Side confirmed it has exchanged hands.
As WAVY News has reported, on Monday, Virginia Beach Delegate Kelly Convirs-Fowler said she was given the personal laptop via someone connected to one of the victims of the May 31, 2019 deadly shooting. She explained that the sister of one of the victims was in the mass shooter’s condo cleaning items out when a friend with her discovered the laptop. They were there because the family of one of the victims now owns the mass shooter’s condo, after a deed transfer.
Convirs-Fowler believes law enforcement overlooked the possible evidence.
“We’re still vigilant in getting information and answers for healing’s sake, for all the people that have been affected by that mass shooting,” she said.
Since announcing her possession of the laptop, Convirs-Fowler has handed it over to her attorney. She also confirmed to WAVY that she provided Jason Nixon, the husband of one of the mass shooting victims, a copy of the contents of the laptop. Nixon is represented by former Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax.
10 On Your Side received the following statement from Justin Fairfax’s spokesperson:
Spokesperson for Justin Fairfax
Justin E. Fairfax, Attorney and the 41st Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, is now representing four of the Virginia Beach families whose loved ones were murdered in the horrific mass shooting in the Virginia Beach Municipal Center on May 31, 2019.
Not one of the families impacted by the 2019 massacre in Virginia Beach has been made whole from the unfathomable and unacceptable injustice and emotional, financial and spiritual toll that they continue to suffer to this day.
The Law Office of Justin E. Fairfax, PLLC and Martin Law PLLC, with Attorney Thomas B. Martin, now legally represent the families of:
— Kate Nixon
— Michelle “Missy” Langer
— Joshua O. Hardy
— Laquita C. Brown
The Virginia Beach Police Department has asked Convirs-Fowler to turn over the laptop to them so they can complete a forensic review, but she told WAVY she has reservations.
“Should you be investigating yourself? I think there’s a problem with the chain of custody.”
Instead, she says she turned over the laptop to her Norfolk attorney, before taking the next step.
Former Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney Harvey Bryant believes the laptop must be analyzed by professionals as soon as possible.
“The laptop should be turned over to a law enforcement agency. My personal preference, and I think the right and correct thing to do, is to the VBPD because this was their case,” Bryant told WAVY. “The longer it stays out of the hands of law enforcement, that just creates reasons for people to doubt that it’s all legitimate and that it hasn’t been tampered with, or efforts to clean things out.”
Bryant served as a prosecutor for three decades.
“My first thought was, how embarrassing that they missed this laptop. I don’t know that for sure. I don’t know where exactly it was found, but if what I’m hearing, and reading is correct…,” Bryant said. “Has is happened before? Yes, things like that do happen and they’ve happened in Virginia Beach before.”
He added, “We need to remember that this is not really evidence of the crime. Hopefully, it’s evidence of the motive and what was driving this person to such a horrible act against his fellow own employees.”
Bryant says there could be answers the community and families still want to know on the laptop.
“I don’t think the pain ever goes away. Maybe some satisfaction derives from knowing the motives. I don’t think you ever close the chapter on a murdered family member, that’s always going to be there.”
10 On Your Side reached out to Convirs-Fowler’s attorney on Wednesday to discuss the next steps. We are waiting to hear back.