A Prince William County jury found Ronald Hamilton guilty Wednesday of all charges in the 2016 murder of his wife and a Prince William County police officer, said Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert.
Hamilton was charged with three capital murder charges and 14 related felonies and found guilty on all charges related to the Feb. 27, 2016, deaths.
Crystal Hamilton was killed inside the couple’s home while their then-11-year-old son was in the house on the 13000 block of Lashmere Court in Woodbridge. Hamilton was also found guilty of shooting the three officers who responded to Crystal’s 911 call. Officer Ashley Guindon died on her first day on the job, and officers Jesse Hempen and David McKeown were injured.
The sentencing phase of the trial is now set to begin. The jury will decide if Ronald Hamilton receives life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty.
During the prosecution’s opening statements, Brian Boyle, senior assistant commonwealth’s attorney, played the audio of Crystal Hamilton’s 911 call. She was crying and said her husband had slammed her onto the floor. She yelled “stop” before the call was disconnected.
“That scream you all heard is the last thing anyone in the outside world will hear from Crystal,” Boyle said.
Crystal Hamilton was shot multiple times with a .45 caliber Glock, Boyle said. Police dispatch tried calling the number back three times, but only reached voicemail.
Police arrived minutes after Crystal’s 911 call. Officer Jesse Hempen arrived first and knocked on the front door, Boyle said. Ronald Hamilton stepped outside, but reportedly refused to let Hempen inside to see Crystal. He closed the door and another officer forced the door open.
The defendant is waiting with a rifle, Boyle said. Boyle played radio traffic from the officers on scene. McKeown said on the radio that he was hurt and the suspect has a rifle, Boyle said.
“He needs the other officers to know because their vest is not intended to protect against rifles,” Boyle said.
Guindon never gave any radio updates, Boyle said. Once other officers arrive, the Hamilton’s then-11-year-old son walked out of the front door. Ronald Hamilton grabbed his son by the shirt and told him to open the door and leave, according to the son’s testimony read by Cherie Murphy, Crystal Hamilton’s mother.
An officer told the son to run and he did. “[The son] came out of the house afraid of what was going to happen,” Boyle said.
Hamilton eventually surrendered to police.
Edward Ungvarsky, Ronald Hamilton’s lawyer, said during opening statements that Ronald Hamilton did not “wake up with murderous intent” on Feb. 27, 2016, and the couple was struggling to keep their marriage together.