Wedding caterer killed in fight over chairs

Posted at 6:54 AM, Aug 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-08 09:28:58-04

CHANTILLY, Va. -- Tyonne "Chef Ty" Johns, 35, of Hopewell, was killed Saturday while she catered a wedding at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in Chantilly, Virginia.

A 19-year-old park worker was arrested and charged with her murder.

Johns and 19-year-old Kempton A. Bonds, of Clifton, got into an argument while cleaning up chairs following the wedding, according to Fairfax County Police.

Tyonne D. Johns

Tyonne D. Johns

"[Bonds], a seasonal employee of the Fairfax County Park Authority, and [Johns], who was a caterer for an event, were having a verbal altercation earlier in the evening," a Fairfax Police spokesperson said. "As the event came to an end, the verbal altercation continued, and the suspect, the Park Authority employee, apparently stabbed the victim with a knife."

Police and EMS were called to the park at about 10:50 p.m.

Johns was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Bonds was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

Kempton A. Bonds

Kempton A. Bonds

The pocket knife police believe was used in the crime is being held as evidence.

Friends have established a GoFundMe to help Johns' family cover the unexpected funeral expenses.

"Tyonne was a dedicated friend with a genuine zest for life. Cooking and loving were two of her greatest passions. She poured her soul into every dish she created drawing from past pain and the will to make something from nothing," friend and business associate Kimberley Bush wrote. "[She] was senselessly murdered for standing up for what she believed."

While some details about what led up to the incident were released, the GoFundMe account referred to the situation as a hate crime.

"Lesbian, bisexual, gay, we have to silence our selves because of someone else being uncomfortable," Ty's friend Eraena Seymour said.

"He had no respect for us. They way he talked to us. The way he tried to dictate everything around us was just wrong," friend Seymone Spence told WUSA. "He knew he was going to hurt somebody. If anybody would've said something, it just so happened to be Ty because she had to separate the chairs. She ordered chairs - CHAIRS took my friends life."

Police have not classified the crime as a hate crime.

The suspect, Kempton A. Bonds, was scheduled to attend VCU this fall, friends told the Washington Post.

"I feel like this extremely out of character for him," a friend told WUSA. "I feel not inclined to jump to any sort of conclusions right now."

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