Rudy Dean Supporters Question Commonwealth's Attorney

By: Amelia Nahmias Email
By: Amelia Nahmias Email

HARRRISONBURG, Va -- In January, Rudy Dean was arrested and taken into custody for shooting Robert Crawford in the neck. Dean says it was self defense.

On Monday, Dean's supporters rallied in protest on Monday. They said he has been treated unfairly.

Dean's supporters said he was not in the wrong and the victim has even admitted under oath that he was the agressor. Dean is charged with aggravated malicious wounding, which is a charge with a maximum penalty of life in prison, if he is convicted.

Cindy Carr, the lead Rudy Dean supporter, came out with a mission. In February, she heard the judge order pictures be taken of Dean after the attack and those photos still have not been released.

"If those pictures come forward and do not show the defense wounds that I saw with my own eyes, I will sit down and shut my mouth," said Carr.

Other supporters said this is not the first time the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office has been questioned. In 2008, former Harrisonburg City Treasurer Becky Neal pleaded guilty to misusing public funds, which she still says she did not do. Recently, Neal filed a complaint claiming the Commonwealth's attorney withheld evidence in her case.

"Marsha Garst used her office and her power to silence me. The Commonwealth attorney destroyed my life and the life of my family out of petty political retribution,” said Neal.

After nearly five years of silence, she is sharing her story in hopes of change.

"The Commonwealth continues to bully and harass citizens of Rockingham County, and we all must stand up against this corruption before it happens to someone you love."

With a felony on her record, Neal has had a very hard time getting work, but she said she can be there for her family.

"It's hurt our family, but it's brought us a lot closer. I mean, we love each other," said Benny Neal, Becky's husband.

The Harrisonburg and Rockingham County Commonwealth's Attorney Marsha Garst said she has done nothing wrong. She said she has dedicated her life to serve and protect the people of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.

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