No Charges Yet In Harris Gardens Murder

Brent Finnegan -- September 30th, 2010

It’s been two weeks since Janet Bonilla, a pregnant mother of three, was shot to death in the parking lot at the Harris Gardens apartment complex in Harrisonburg. Since then, the police have released several updates confirming that investigators are working on the case, but as of this week, no charges have been filed.

Wednesday the HPD released another brief statement:

The investigation into the death of Janet Bonilla continues. This is still very much an active investigation. Items of evidence are being evaluated and tested. Interviews of witnesses and people in the area are still being conducted.

As of this afternoon, no one has been charged for the death of Ms. Bonilla but investigators remain confident in this case.

Police are asking anyone with with information in connection to the case to call Crime Solvers at 574-5050.

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11 Responses to “No Charges Yet In Harris Gardens Murder”

  1. Jamie Smith says:

    I certainly hope the killer(s) will be brought to justice quickly.
    Speaking of cases outstanding without charges, has anyone heard anything lately about the case involving Dr. Smith out at Wachovia Bank several months ago?

    • Ross says:

      What has Marsha Garst found out about the black man found dead along Rt.340 in Grottoes a couple years ago. I remember she had a front page article a few months back that she was going to re-open the case. Maybe I missed it, anyone know?

  2. Delataire says:

    I recall an unsolved murder that happened in the same area. A woman was killed in her apartment (Longview)? On Vine Street.

  3. Ross says:

    So, these unsolved situations don’t fare well for Marsha Garst, do they?

    • Brooke says:

      How so? She’s not in charge of investigating the crimes. Honestly, unsolved crimes aren’t always even the police’s fault. If the trail’s cold. The trail’s cold. Marsha can’t do squat until there’s enough evidence to actually charge an individual.

    • Brooke says:

      There are even times where there is a trial, and the prosecuting attorney has a lot going against them. I was involved in a trial a while back where the hung jury was, in my mind (as a juror), not the result of anything the prosecutor did or didn’t do, but rather a lack of physical evidence, lack of credible eye witnesses, and some questionable moves on the part of the cops (the only person in the lineup that matched the description was their main suspect). In that case, I really couldn’t fault the attorney. He did the best with what he had been given from the investigation.

      So, while I’m not the biggest fan of Marsha Garst, there’s no way I’d fault her for these unsolved cases.

      • Ross says:

        Brooke,
        Marsha is quick to take the credit when they win so, why not point out when she’s not getting the job done?

        • Emmy says:

          Um, like Brooke mentioned…she can’t do her job until there is someone to charge with a crime. So, how exactly is she not getting the job done if there is no one for her to prosecute?

        • Brooke says:

          Again, not a huge fan of Marsha, but it seems, Ross, that your dislike of Marsha is clouding your understanding of how the legal system works. Like Emmy said, Marsha’s hands are tied until there’s suspect to charge. She doesn’t investigate crimes. And while it would be easy to point fingers at the police, the sad fact of the matter is, sometimes criminals are either smart enough to cover their tracks well (and not leave behind clues) or just catch a lucky break. So, really there may be no one to blame here, but the criminal themselves.

  4. Ross says:

    Brooke and Emmy, I never said that I did not like Marsha Garst. All I am doing is commenting on her job performance. She is quick to get her picture on the front page whether she has done anything or not.

    I understand what you are saying, and it is accurate. However, as I commented earlier, she got on the front page of the DNR saying that she was “re-opening” the case of the man that was killed and found on 340 after more than a year. She had no suspect, no new information but it was an opportunity to get publicity. And, what has she done on that case since? How do you think the family of the victim feels about this?

    There is a common belief that if you do not have a suspect in the first 48 hours the success rate of solving the case dramatically falls.

    Yes, she needs the police but, that has never stopped her in the past.

    I have no dis-like for Marsha Garst, I have a problem with how she does her job.

    • Brooke says:

      Great you have a problem with how she does her job. Got it. At times I have too (esp. the recent Breeze thing). But, not liking how she does her job doesn’t mean she is, or should be, castigated for something she has nothing to do with. The fact that you keep at it is what lends itself to people thinking you have a dislike for her, whether you use those exact words or not.

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