Steven Green, 55, pleaded guilty in Fairfax County Circuit Court to manslaughter and malicious wounding. He was convicted, April 28, of fatally shooting Miguel Angel Leiva Hernandez, 30, of Chantilly.
The tragedy occurred May 24, 2019, around 1:30 a.m., in the parking lot of the Chantilly Park Shopping Center in the 14500 block of Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy. Green, of Manassas, was at work cleaning that parking lot when he had an altercation with Leiva Hernandez’s girlfriend, Myra Osorio Cordero, who was standing outside a restaurant there.
Green used his leaf blowers to send debris towards Osorio Cordero and, after they exchanged words, he hit her in the face with one of those leaf blowers. During his 2019 preliminary hearing in General District Court, she said Green told her, “All Hispanics are trash,” but he denied saying it.
After his girlfriend was assaulted, Leiva Hernandez and another man came outside. When Leiva Hernandez saw Osorio Cordero bleeding profusely, he and Green began a physical struggle. There were no outdoor surveillance cameras to capture exactly what happened between the two men – and in what order.
But at some point, Green shot Leiva Hernandez once in the chest, killing him. Police responding to the scene found the victim’s body in the parking lot. He was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead.
Officers recovered a firearm at the scene and charged Green with murder, malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Then came the pandemic, which delayed his Circuit Court proceedings until this year. He stood trial in early March and admitted to killing the Chantilly man but said he did so in self-defense.
Green claimed he shot Leiva Hernandez after they fought because he saw a gun on the victim’s person and was frightened for his life. But the prosecution contended Green shot the victim before the fight, as soon as he saw Leiva Hernandez’s gun – which turned out to be a BB gun.
Green’s weapon, however, was real, and discharged a fatal bullet. Eventually, his trial ended in a hung jury. But on April 28, Green entered his guilty pleas – including to the lesser charge of manslaughter. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 1.
“It’s always a tragedy when a young person dies, and nothing can bring Miguel back to his family and loved ones,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano afterward. “As prosecutors, our job is to put on a fair trial, and we respect the original jury’s serious deliberation of the evidence in this case. Today’s agreement guarantees a just outcome for the community.”