After an hour-long trial in General District Court in Alexandria, 18-year-old Samuel Howard Woodson IV was found guilty of destruction of property for aiding and abetting the egging of the home of an outspoken critic of the city’s School Board.
Woodson, the son of City Councilwoman Joyce Woodson, pleaded not guilty and was represented by two attorneys, his father, S. Howard Woodson III, the head of the Alexandria chapter of the NAACP and Douglas Ellis, a member of the DC Bar. James Luby Jr, the son of School Board member Melissa Luby, pleaded guilty to destruction of property in the same incident earlier this month.
“There has been no testimony that my client threw any eggs,” Ellis said in summation.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Benjamin Katz argued that, in Virginia, that doesn’t matter. “In the case of a misdemeanor, aiding and abetting the commission of a crime means that you are guilty,” he said.
Luby testified that Woodson was with him on the night of the egging incident but did not throw any eggs. “It was my idea and I threw the eggs,” Luby said in court.
Katz presented a written statement that Luby signed which said something different. The statement said that Woodson was present and also threw eggs.
James Boissonault, the victim, was not able to identify Woodson in a photo line-up. “I saw three people outside my house and saw two of them throwing eggs,” he said. He identified Luby as one of those individuals.
THE JUDGE AGREED with Katz and ordered Woodson to perform 25 hours of community service. He imposed a fine of $250, which he suspended and gave the defendant until Sept. 13 to pay the court costs.
“I’m just glad this is over,” Boissonault said. “Now I can focus on the petition drive to remove Mrs. Luby from the School Board for attempting to get the mayor and the city manager to intervene when the superintendent was arrested for drunk driving.”
Boissonault has collected over 500 signatures on his own and has not heard from a number of Alexandrians who are collecting signatures for him. Among those who have been involved in the petition drive are three African-American ministers. Elbert Ransom Jr, one of those men, spoke about the egging incident.
“It is of great concern to me that these young men used this form of intimidation to try and silence criticism,” Ransom said. “The fact that they are the adult children of elected officials is also of concern. If these people cannot get their own houses in order, I do not have a great deal of confidence that they can serve the city effectively.”
Woodson will be in court on Aug. 20 to face charges of driving on a suspended license and failing to appear in court on an earlier date regarding that charge.