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A Portsmouth man accused of shooting and killing a teenager on Crawford Road in June is facing new charges from inside the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail.
Julian Rios, 20, was charged with sexual battery on Aug. 23 after a VPRJ inmate said Rios grabbed his groin and asked him what he could do with his genitals, according to documents filed in Williamsburg-James City County General District Court.
The victim said he was in Rios’ cell on Aug. 19 when the assault occurred. The victim was trying to help Rios with his case, and let him borrow a copy of the Georgetown Law Journal, court documents state.
The victim pulled away from Rios and told him to stop touching him. Rios tried to grab the victim a second time, and the victim swung at him but didn’t hit him, according to court documents.
Paul Freeman, an attorney for Rios, declined to comment for this story.
The sexual battery charge comes in the wake of Rios’ York County General District Court proceedings for second-degree murder on use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Rios is accused of shooting and killing Austin Garrett Baxley, 18, of Portsmouth, on June 30, and leaving his body in a ditch on Crawford Road in the Yorktown Battlefield at Colonial National Historical Park.
Deputies found Baxley dead shortly after midnight on July 1, with shots to his head and torso. They also found cartridge casings, fire projectiles, footprints and tire marks near Baxley’s body, court documents state.
Deputies believe Rios shot Baxley around 11:29 p.m., when witnesses reported hearing gunshots in the area.
Baxley’s cell phone wasn’t found on the scene, although his girlfriend, Avery Harrell, 17, said she last heard from him at 11:17 p.m. via text. Avery texted Baxley back, but didn’t hear from him. She tried to call Baxley’s cell phone at 11:30 p.m., but it went to voicemail. She continued to call him for about 30 minutes.
Rios and Baxley were colleagues and friends. Baxley worked for Rios at his pressure washing company, although he’d recently told his mother, Crystal VanValkenburg, that Rios fired him, according to court documents.
Baxley owed Rios about $200 for damages made to a car while he was cleaning it at work, Chad Prater told police. Prater’s son was friends with Baxley, court documents state.
Baxley also owed Rios $40 for an AT&T cell phone bill, said Prater’s neighbor Lisa Marie Feathers. Baxley told Feathers that Rios paid for his cell phone, and that Rios was “blowing up his phone” to get the money, according to court documents.
The pair was also selling marijuana with a man identified in court documents as “Ray.” Prater’s son told police Ray threatened to kill Baxley over a counterfeit $20 that he accepted from a customer, court documents state.
The night Baxley died he left Prater’s home to meet with Rios and Ray between 10:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. As he left, Baxley told Prater he “hoped nothing goes wrong,” according to court documents.
Police arrested Rios in Suffolk on July 2. When they questioned him, he said he hadn’t heard from Baxley in almost two weeks and he was worried because Baxley hadn’t been answering calls or texts.
Police obtained 24 hours of Baxley’s phone records, which showed that Baxley’s and Rios’ numbers called each other three times between 2:30 p.m. and 10:10 p.m. on June 30. Another three calls were made between the phones from 10:11 p.m. to 10:35 p.m., although they went to voicemail, court documents state.
The records showed that there were also 32 text messages between the phone numbers that day.
Cell tower information showed Rios’ phone in Portsmouth and Yorktown that night, putting him on Crawford Road at 11:29 p.m., according to court documents.
Rios was also charged with perjury on Aug. 23, about a month and a half after he was arrested in connection to the shooting. York County Commonwealth’s Attorney Benjamin Hahn said Rios is accused of not disclosing all of his assets when he requested a court appointed attorney at his first hearing on July 5.
Although a criminal complaint exists for the perjury charge, it is sealed, York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office Deputy Mike Russell wrote in an email.
Rios’ case is scheduled to be heard in York General District Court on Sept. 27, and in Williamsburg-James City County General District Court on Oct. 4.
Mayfield can be reached at 352-431-9612.
Criminal complaint Julian Rios