An affidavit for a search warrant filed in Prince William County Circuit Court details the chain of events on Dec. 28 that allegedly started with a plan for a drug deal and ended with the death of Zavier Stringfellow, 19, of the Manassas area.
Two witnesses told police that they were with Stringfellow just before he was found "stabbed and obviously murdered" in a van near Glengyle Drive and Chain Bridge Road, according to the affidavit, which was signed by Fairfax County Police Detective Robert Bond.
Stringfellow had arranged to meet with Johnny Bonilla, of Gainesville, in a parking lot on Glengyle to purchase marijuana, according to the affidavit. Bonilla has been charged with second degree murder in the case. The two had not met before, but a mutual friend reportedly set up a meeting and they arranged the transaction over the phone.
"Further investigation revealed that Zavier had actually intended on robbing Johnny of his marijuana," the affidavit claims.
Things allegedly started to go wrong almost right away.
"When they arrived at the set location, Johnny told Zavier he didn't want to do the transaction with the witnesses present. The witnesses got out of the van and waited down the street," the warrant reads.
A man believed to be Bonilla got into the passenger side of the van. The witnesses say they came back to the van and allegedly saw Stringfellow and the man struggling. They say that Stringfellow called out to his friends that the man had a knife. The witnesses say they pulled the man out of the van, and then Stringfellow put the van in gear.
The witnesses say they ran from the scene and tried to call Stringfellow on the phone. They couldn't reach him. The witnesses came back and found first responders on the scene.
A Fairfax County police officer on a routine patrol had found a blue van that had crashed into an embankment. Rescue personnel determined that Stringfellow was dead, but not from injuries suffered in the crash. The medical examiner later determined that the cause of death was stab wounds to the upper body.
While investigators found DNA evidence inside the van, the knife was not inside.
Bonilla is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on March 5.