NORFOLK, Va. – Avion Lamar Northan, a 33-year-old Norfolk man, was sentenced in Norfolk Circuit Court on Friday, September 23, 2022, to 20 active years in prison for ramming his SUV into the mother of his children in the MacArthur Center parking garage.
In the afternoon of Aug. 17, 2021, Mr. Northan attended a hearing in Norfolk Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court in which he lost custody of the two children he shares with the woman he subsequently attacked.
Mr. Northan immediately left the courthouse and walked to his SUV parked across the street at the MacArthur Center garage. Mr. Northan then drove to a different parking space in the same garage, parked his SUV behind the vehicle belonging to the mother of his children, and waited with his headlights on.
Accompanied by a friend, the mother of Mr. Northan’s children returned to her car about a half hour later. Upon seeing the mother of his children, Mr. Northan rapidly accelerated his SUV and used it to strike her as she stood by her driver's side door. Her friend, who stood near the passenger side of the vehicle, was unharmed.
Norfolk Police detectives, who had also walked to the garage from the courthouse around the same time, heard what sounded like a nearby car crash followed by screaming and ran to the scene. Mr. Northan approached them, informing the detectives that he had just run over a woman, and he was detained. The mother of Northan’s children was observed by detectives lying on the ground in a state of shock with broken legs, both still partially under the front of Mr. Northan’s SUV. Mr. Northan further told the detectives, “If I can't have my kids, she can't have my kids, and I hope she is dead.”
Doctors at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital determined that the crash had broken her right femur, fractured her right tibia and fractured her pelvic ring. She has since undergone numerous surgeries to correct her injuries and recently regained the ability to walk.
Mr. Northan pleaded no contest on July 6, 2022, to aggravated malicious wounding, assault and battery against a family member and attempt to commit non-capital first-degree murder, and he was found guilty of those charges.
On Friday, Judge Michelle J. Atkins sentenced Mr. Northan to serve 20 active years in prison. The details of Mr. Smith’s sentence include: 40 years in prison with 20 years suspended for aggravated malicious wounding, 12 months with all months suspended for assault and battery against a family member, and 10 years with all years suspended for attempted murder. Mr. Northan’s suspended sentences are conditioned upon five years of supervised probation and 10 years of uniform good behavior upon his release from prison.
“Mr. Northan could have killed the mother of his children, and for that terrible crime he will spend 20 years in prison,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi. “Mr. Northan earned a sentence equivalent to one for murder, because that was what he intended to do. My thoughts are with the victim of this crime and for her continued recovery and healing. We will continue to hold accountable the perpetrators of senseless and malicious violence.”
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Anthony J. Comento led the prosecution of Mr. Northan’s case on behalf of the Commonwealth. Please contact Nia Tariq at 757-620-5454 for more information.