Germantown Man Found Guilty of Manslaughter
James E. Biddinger, 27, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years.
A Germantown man on trial for stabbing and killing his roommate’s son was found guilty of a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.
The jury returned a verdict at around 3 p.m. Monday in Montgomery County Circuit Court, ending 12 hours of deliberations that carried over from Friday.
James E. Biddinger appeared to take a deep sigh, sinking back into his chair as the forewoman read the verdict: not guilty of first-degree murder and not guilty of second-degree murder.
Biddinger, 27, was tried for killing Kevin A. Mbayo, 22. The men fought in the living room of a Germantown townhouse on May 3, 2011, after an alleged dispute over a clogged bathroom toilet devolved into a knife fight, according to court testimony during the trial.
Mbayo died from a single stab wound to his back.
In order to render a guilty verdict for first-degree murder, the state had to show Mbayo’s death was premeditated, willful and deliberate.
A first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory life sentence.
But because he was convicted of voluntary manslaughter, Biddinger faces a maximum sentence of 10 years, his attorney Melanie Creedon said after the verdict.
The outcome was unsettling for Mbayo’s family members, who thought a guilty verdict for first-degree murder was appropriate.
“Our son was killed in cold blood,” said Edward Mussa, Mbayo’s uncle.
Kevin A. Mbayo’s father Ernest Mbayoh was in the courtroom Monday but did not wish to be interviewed.