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Judge Denies Murder Suspect's Bond Request

Court proceedings continue in Springfield murder case.

Even though his client is charged with murder, defense attorney Robert Whitestone requested that Durrell Pretty be released on bond.

John Murphy, assistant commonwealth's attorney, objected to Whitestone's motion during a hearing that lasted less than 15 minutes in Fairfax County Circuit Court on Tuesday, June 7.

"Clearly he represents a danger to the community," Murphy said.

Judge Michael P. McWeeny denied Pretty's request, and Pretty, 19, of Springfield, was sent back to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

Pretty, of the 5900 block of Queenston St., is charged with the March 6 murder of 20-year-old Brendan Tash of Springfield. Tash was shot while attending the 21st birthday party of his friend, Matthew Reed. The victim, defendant and host of the party all lived within a short distance of each other.

<b>FAIRFAX COUNTY POLICE</b> reported that an argument occurred between people attending a party on Cardinal Brook Court in Springfield and another group of young people who arrived outside the house. Police reported the party, the argument and the ensuing shooting that took place.

But prosecuting and defense attorneys, and witnesses on each side, dispute the details of the confrontation and shooting.

According to Murphy, the defendant and his friends heard about the party even though nobody had invited them.

"They basically picked a fight with people in the front yard," Murphy said. During the confrontation, he said, Pretty got a firearm and shot and killed Tash, who attended the party.

Whitestone told a differing version of events. "What he has told you isn't anywhere near the whole story," Whitestone said.

Whitestone said a group of people already at the party came out of the house and confronted Pretty and his friends with bats.

<b>PRETTY FIRED SHOTS</b> in the air with the intention of moving the group back away from the confrontation, Whitestone said.

Whitestone requested that Pretty be released on bond, citing his long-standing community and family ties, his lack of a criminal record as an adult, and his employment history in the community.

Murphy added details not presented in Pretty's preliminary hearing in April. Pretty was involved in a gang, Murphy said, and did have a criminal record as a juvenile, which included an assault charge.

"The defendant has been flirting with a lifestyle that has led him, tragically, to this," Murphy said.

Pretty was indicted by a Fairfax County Circuit Court grand jury in May. The trial date been set for late summer, according to court records.