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JUST IN: Man arrested, charged in fatal assault of homeless woman in Hybla Valley

A Fairfax County police car (file photo)

Fairfax County Police charged a 32-year-old man with malicious wounding in connection to the deadly assault of a homeless woman in Hybla Valley earlier this month.

Chante Antonio Jones was arrested yesterday (Monday) after an officer saw him a block away from where the assault happened, wearing similar clothing from the night of the attack, police said.

Michelle Huntley, 63, was found at a bus stop on June 17 in the 7800 block of Richmond Highway with serious injuries from an assault, police said. She was transported to a hospital, where she died Sunday (June 26). Detectives are still investigating the relationship between Jones and Huntley and what led up to the assault.

Prior to his arrest, police located surveillance footage from areas near the bus stop and distributed an internal bulletin to ask officers for help to identify the person of interest, police said.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is conducting an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death, police said. Pending the results of the autopsy and consultation with the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, the charges may be changed.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey McKay and Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck acknowledged Huntley’s death at the board’s meeting this morning (Tuesday), mentioning that police had taken a person into custody.

“Michelle was in her 60s and homeless, so a lot of times, we put a false image of what our homeless population is, and it’s just another sad reminder for us that there’s a lot of homeless people in our community, and they deserve respect and dignity,” McKay said. “Thankfully, we do have somebody in custody, but just a tragic, tragic event.”

Huntley was a familiar presence in the community. She had gotten the nickname “Mama” and was known to sleep at the bus stop, ABC7 reported yesterday.

Storck said:

Michelle Huntley was brutally beaten at a bus stop along Route 1. I want to acknowledge her passing, because she frankly did not deserve what she had. She was brutally beaten. She was in the hospital for many weeks, and it’s still unknown exactly what happened. I do want to also acknowledge the incredible work of our police department, not only our homicide unit, but also a patrol officer who happened to notice somebody who met the description of the individual that they’ve identified and arrested this individual, and now this individual is in custody. So, the core of this is to honor Michelle and the tragedy she encountered, but also to acknowledge what an incredible police department we have and how professional and skillful and good they are at making sure bad guys don’t last too long out in our community.