Chesterfield crash suspect now charged with homicide

CHESTERFIELD, Va (WTVR) – The man accused of nearly 20 different crimes after a deadly accident on Midlothian Turnpike Friday night now faces his most serious charge in connection to the wreck: second-degree murder.

After consulting with the Chesterfield County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, the Virginia State Police charged 23-year-old Karon Porter with felony homicide, which is considered murder in the second degree.

Police said Friday evening Porter sped away from troopers attempting to pull him over for an equipment violation.  Porter then side swiped two vehicles, ran a red light and smashed into a third car at the intersection of Midlothian Turnpike and Moorefield Park Drive in Chesterfield, investigators said.

The driver of the third car, 73-year old George Van Orden of Midlothian, died at VCU Medical Center on Saturday night, according to police.

State Police charged Porter with felony homicide on Monday morning. Under Virginia code, felony homicide is defined as “the killing of one accidentally, contrary to the intention of the parties, while in the prosecution of some felonious act” other than second degree murder.

If convicted on the homicide charge alone, Porter could face up to 40 years in prison.  He is charged with 17 different felonies and misdemeanors in connection to the crash as well.

According to court records, Karon Porter was previously charged with a litany of other traffic offenses prior to Friday’s incident.  Those charges included things like alluding police, hit and run, and suspension of license.

CBS 6 legal expert Todd Stone said despite his prior offenses, Porter’s legal history cannot be used as evidence to prosecute him on these new charges.  Only during a bond hearing or sentencing could those charges be brought up, Stone said.

Porter was arraigned in Chesterfield County General District Court on Monday.

At that hearing, it was announced defense attorney John Rockecharlie would represent Porter.

“Every fact pattern is different and I just try to get to the truth,” Rockecharlie told CBS 6 reporter Joe St. George.

“I have known Karon for quite some time,” Rochecharlie said – alluding to the fact he represented him before.

Porter’s family was in the courtroom at the time of the arraignment.

“He’s a good kid who wouldn’t hurt nobody,” Kim Debro, Porter’s mother, said.

As for the deceased victim and his family, neighbors are hanging a marine flag in their neighborhood to signify Van Orden’s time in the military.

He is currently being held without bond at Chesterfield County Jail.