Man charged in mob beating of Chesapeake Vietnam Vet listens to fellow accused attacker testify

Posted at 7:07 PM, Oct 22, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-22 21:09:18-04

Chesapeake, Va. - Prosecutors are calling it a 3-on-1 attack. Three young men on ATVs are accused of attacking 77-year-old Charles “Chick” Silva after he threatened them with a gun for trespassing at the Chesapeake Executive Airport.

Police only arrested and charged one of them with murder.

23-year-old Kyle Langreder appeared Tuesday for the 2nd day of his trial in Chesapeake Circuit Court.

Prosecutors called their star witness against him to the stand--Michael Coleman, one of the 3 young men who they say participated in the attack on the Vietnam veteran.

Coleman described the punch he says he saw Kyle Langreder deliver to the older man.

“It was the hardest punch I've ever seen in my life,” said Coleman. “He looked like he was knocked out before he even hit the ground.”

Coleman also testified about the actions of Jon Crum before that final punch.

Prosecutors say Crum was the 3rd person involved in the attack.

“Mr. Silva puts a gun into Crum’s chest. He still has hands up, and then he smacks the gun away,” said Coleman. “He smacks it away, and follows with a left-right jab combo. Mr. Silva falls to the ground on his hands and knees.”

According to the medical examiner, Silva suffered several injuries to the head, and she couldn't pin point which one contributed to the 77-year-old's death.

Of the three young men involved, only Langreder has been arrested and charged with murder.

Prosecutors say Crum and Coleman were only aggressive towards Silva when he had a gun, acting in self-defense because they were in fear for their lives.

On the stand, Coleman painted Langreder as the main aggressor after the gun was thrown into the woods, out of the picture.

“Kyle was swinging and kicking at Mr. Silva,” said Coleman.

Langreder's defense attorney, John Jelich, honed in on that statement, saying it was left out of Coleman's first interview with police last year, and that he has changed his story several times.

He also brought up Coleman’s felony conviction for drug dealing, and that since he is still on probation, another arrest could land him 10 years in jail.

Kyle Langreder has a completely different story telling police that both Coleman and Crum rained down 20-30 blows on the victim during the assault.

He will testify in his own defense on Thursday, and it will be up to a jury to decide who to believe.


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