Case against teen charged in Va. Beach homicide moves forward

Maurice Boney Jr. in court on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. Credit: Rob Rizzo/WAVY

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The case against a teen charged in connection with a December 2016 homicide in Virginia Beach is moving forward.

Maurice Boney Jr., 19, and 18-year-old Nicholas Cates are accused of killing 60-year-old Christine Bender in front of her home on Dec. 4. Boney and Cates have both been charged with murder.

The charges against Boney were certified to a grand jury. His trial is scheduled for May 31.

A police detective testified Friday that he interviewed Boney a week after the murder. Boney told police that morning, he was hanging out with Cates. He said Cates wanted to take a drive and “find somebody to kill.”

The two drove onto Campion around 2 a.m. on Dec. 4, and saw Bender standing outside her home smoking a cigarette. Cates was driving and reportedly told Boney “that’s the one,” talking about Bender.

They pulled up to the curb, and Cates reportedly asked Bender for a light. As she was approaching, they put on latex gloves and Boney says he handed Cates a .45 caliber. When Bender got her lighter back, Boney says Cates shot her five to seven times in the back.

She died in her front yard.

Detectives say Boney later dismantled the gun and threw the pieces in a nearby lake. Boney took detectives there to search and the dive team later recovered one of the pieces.

The judge said Friday there was enough evidence to send the case to the grand jury. On March 20, the grand jury returned indictments against Boney for first degree murder, use of a firearm and conspiracy.

Cates is also facing charges in several other shootings between Nov. 29 and Dec. 7 of 2016. His cases are still in being held in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court because he was only 17 when he was arrested.

Prosecutors say he will soon be certified as an adult.

Cates is due in court March 28 for a preliminary hearing.