23 Aug 2014
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Road Rage Trial Begins: Single Fatal Punch Alleged

Man faces misdemeanor assault and battery charges after victim fell ill an hour after the fight and never recovered.

Road Rage Trial Begins: Single Fatal Punch Alleged

After a man died in April following a road rage argument, an assault and battery trial begins Monday in the case.

Librado Cena, 58, allegedly hit William Hays O'Brien, 63, only once in the Best Buy parking lot in Fairfax, Va. But  O’Brien would be hospitalized later the same day and die 10 days later, reportedly from a head injury during the fight.

Charges of  aggravated malicious wounding were dropped last fall, but a grand jury indicted Cena for misdemeanor assault and battery in November. The maximum sentence is 12 months in jail.

Cena's lawyers claim he punched O’Brien only once, according to The Washington Post.

O'Brien had allegedly been honking his horn at Cena before stopping at the Fairfax store. Security footage released by Fairfax City Police shows Cena approaching O'Brien from behind in the parking lot. The two have an altercation, followed by O'Brien walking into the store and Cena driving off.

Roughly an hour later, O’Brien called 911 from his home with a headache and said he “couldn’t think straight.” Paramedics found him unresponsive.

O’Brien spent several days in the hospital, but died from what the medical examiner called “complications from blunt force trauma to the head."

On Tuesday, The Washington Post posted the security video and Cena's initial interview with police, conducted after O'Brien had been hospitalized.

O'Brien's daughter, Kelly O’Brien, told Patch in November that she wanted Cena to be held responsible. 

“So he was honked at. So what?" she said. "Getting honked at once—or even two or three or even four times—is not a good enough reason to follow someone like that and attack them."

Cena’s wife told the Post that her husband was defending himself and that his reputation has been “totally smeared."

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