A second murder trial opened in Loudoun County Circuit Court on Monday.
In the courtroom adjacent to the more publicized trial of Braulio M. Castillo, Kelvin N. Forde also faces a charge of first-degree murder.
The Baltimore man shot his wife in the head after they parked on Woolsthorpe Drive, a cul-de-sac along Rt. 15 near Lucketts on March 11, 2014. Ruby C. Forde was pronounced dead at the scene. It was her 55 birthday.
Forde waived his right to a jury trial and the case is being heard by Circuit Court Judge Jeanette Irby.
During opening arguments on Monday morning, county prosecutors said Forde planned the shooting, becoming upset after being told a day earlier about his wife’s plans to file for a marital separation and to travel with her family to visit other family members in Jamaica.
He particularly sought to talk her out of leaving the country, the attorneys said. On the day of the shooting, Forde was driving her to Loudoun, but it was not clear whether she would go to Dulles Airport, or had abandoned her travel plans and instead dropped off items to be carried home to family members with her sister in Ashburn. They never arrived in either place.
The defense attorneys said they would not dispute that Forde shot and killed his wife; however, they said he should be charged with the lesser crime of manslaughter—resulting from emotional excitement or impulsive actions, rather than premeditated planning.
If found guilty of first-degree murder, Forde faces a sentence of 20 years to life in prison. The sentence for a manslaughter conviction is up to 10 years in prison.
The trial was scheduled to conclude by Friday.