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BREAKING: Guilty Verdict in Diener Murder Case

by ARLnow.com February 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm 2,073 41 Comments

Murder suspect Javon Martin (Arlington Police photo)An Arlington County jury has returned guilty verdicts in the trial of 26-year-old Javon Martin, who was implicated in the 2009 murder of Lyon Village resident Carl Diener.

The jury found Martin guilty of robbery and first degree felony murder today, according to prosecutors. He faces a sentence of 25 years to life in prison. The sentencing phase of the trial will begin this afternoon.

During the trial, which began last Monday, the jury heard testimony from Roger Clark III, Martin’s co-defendant, who pleaded guilty to Diener’s murder in January 2012. Clark described the crime as an early-morning robbery that went wrong when Diener fought back and turned out to be stronger than the men expected. During the struggle, Diener was fatally stabbed.

The case was prosecuted by Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Molly Newton and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney John Lynch.

A more detailed statement from prosecutors is expected later today.

  • dr seuss


  • Meesh

    Injustice!! Convicting an innocent man of murder. Deeply sadden by this news, hope he appeals

    • ColFor

      Injustice?! You make me sick. All of the evidence proves they got this right. As a former coworker of Carl’s I am happy to see the thug convicted. Throw him away for good.

      • Hee-Haw

        I’m sure this person is not serious, probably human leather, who appears to be banned from the forums…finally.

      • Meesh

        The only evidence they had on this young man was the statement from a convicted felon!! He tried to take an innocent man down with him for a lesser sentence! Makes sense to me! Rogers DNA was found all over diener! Not this guy.. A year ago the charges were dropped on this kid

        • Hee-Haw

          His lawyers aren’t denying he was there. Guess what, if you drive a friend to a store and he robs and kills the cashier, you get in trouble too.

          • GoodOmens

            I believe the law says that if you assist someone during a crime and he shoots and kills someone you can be charged with murder as well.

        • Mary-Austin

          The nonchalant attitude about this situation by javon and yourself is what is truly saddening. Glad he will have time to think long and hard about his victim.

  • SomeGuy

    …Diener fought back and turned out to be stronger than the men expected

    I like that even in his dying moments, Diener was able to let these punks know they were messing with the wrong guy. In the big picture, I’m sure that’s of little comfort to his grieving family. But maybe there’s just a shred of solace in that (assuming that’s not what actually escalated it to murder).

    • bman

      Javon was standing his ground when he got attacked by the stronger dude. He’s not allowed to fight back?

      • SomeGuy

        I know you’re just trolling, but Virginia doesn’t have a “stand your ground” law. Anyway, those laws don’t provide protection to criminals in the commission of a violent crime, which robbery is categorized as.

  • How is it injustice if they did the crime? Did you even read the article or you just decided to assume he’s innocent?

  • A-town

    He surely looks guilty.

    • speonjosh

      Warning: Do Not Feed the Troll

    • Bernard Goetz

      That’s b/c he is guilty.

    • Ms. Martin

      Looks can be deceiving…

  • Yoyo

    What evidence did they have?? Clearly not enough if the very same charges were dropped on Martin just a year ago doesn’t add up!

    • J

      Many charges are dropped and then brought back via Grand jury. It has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the strength of the charges. It is a game where the commonwealth does not want to show their cards in the preliminary hearing, so they drop the charge and go via Grand Jury. It also allows them more time to work on the case, whereas the clock is ticking once they charge him and he has a preliminary hearing. He was there, and physical evidence suggests he was there. And the testimony is that he did it. He had the same opportunity to roll over on his accomplice but chose to roll the dice and lost.

  • Uh

    How can you get a possible minimum of 25 years for murder? How is there anything less than life or the chair for murder?

    • drax

      Glad you’re not a judge.

    • GoodOmens

      Probably because he didn’t stab Diener but was just aiding and abetting the robbery.

    • speonjosh

      If you hurry, you can catch the flight to Mali. Don’t bother bringing anything to read on the plane – that’s frowned upon.

  • Not Me

    Took a good one away for some pocket money. What a tragic waste of a positive life.

    Hopefully this low life will have a chance to get in touch with hs softer side when he makes someone a nice girlfriend in prison.

    • Tunesha

      And may god bless you

    • Mary-Austin

      Yep those lips are going to be real popular in prison haha

  • Mary-Austin

    What a relief. Glad the jury found this p.o.s. guilty. Maybe people will start getting the message you don’t come to Virginia from PG to commit crimes and get away with it.

    • drax

      What’s PG got to do with it? Are murderers from in-state more welcome? Or from Montgomery County?

    • speonjosh

      I didn’t realize this was a message that needed to be sent.

  • mickey_

    Another reason to have a concealed carry permit and “light them up” if they try anything.

  • ching

    No death penalty? what a drain this person is on society.

    • Quoth the Raven

      you know that putting someone to death actually costs more than life in prison, right?

      • xarl

        regardless of the number of years?

  • Jame Gumb

    Finally, justice. I’d prefer that these two be put down, but life in prison works for me. RIP Carl, you were one of the good ones.

    • Frank

      Was he really???

      • Jame Gumb

        Yep, he was. An affable, kind and decent person. Anyone who frequented the Kirkwood ave Sport & Health will tell you the same thing.

  • AL

    Two blog posts in a row with “DENIER” in the title! A CONSPIRACY I say!

  • jon

    Quick question, did Martin in Clark travel from Anacostia or PG County to commit this crime?

    • close read

      No. Earlier stories have reported that Clark’s father is a lawyer who works downtown and lives in NW. Clark lived with his Dad.

  • close read

    Washington Post, Jan. 28 2013: “The cousins lived in the Northwest Washington home of Clark’s father, a District lawyer.”


    Thank God this guy is behind bars. Good work guys – Put another one into the Virginia prison system…


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