By Lauren Burke
Black Virginia News
Special to the Guide
Former Virginia Lt. Governor and former federal prosecutor Justin E. Fairfax has been retained in the $50 Million Lawsuit in the death of Donovon Lynch of Virginia Beach. Lynch was shot and killed by Police Officer Solomon Simmons, III on March 26, 2021 at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.
According to the suit, the officer gave no warning before firing two shots that struck and killed Donovon, had no legal justification for taking the life of Lynch, did not activate his body-worn camera, and did not render aid to save Donovon’s life.
Fairfax, along with attorney Thomas B. Martin of Martin Law PLLC, will now lead the new legal team for the Estate of Donovon Lynch and the Lynch Family moving forward.
The victim’s father, Wayne Lynch, sued the City of Virginia Beach and Officer Simmons in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Norfolk Division), citing wrongful death of his 25-year-old son.
His father and other family members describe Donovon Lynch as a college-educated entrepreneur, a peaceful man of deep faith, a licensed, trained, and legally-permitted security professional, and a pillar of the Virginia Beach community.
In March 2022, United States District Court Judge Arenda Wright Allen ruled that Lynch’s lawsuit against the City of Virginia Beach and Officer Simmons held legal merit and sufficiency and could proceed. A jury trial is scheduled to begin on April 4, 2023. The City of Virginia Beach and its Police Department have provided no adequate explanation or justification for why Donovon was shot and killed.
Additionally, the Virginia Beach Police Department has offered numerous, inconsistent and conflicting accounts of the events that resulted in Donovon’s murder and have resisted an independent federal investigation into the unlawful slaying.
Justin E. Fairfax, Esq., 43, served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia in the Major Crimes and Narcotics Unit in the Alexandria Division. In that role, Fairfax prosecuted a wide range of federal felony criminal offenses, including embezzlement, fraud, armed robbery, carjacking, narcotics trafficking, international currency and narcotics smuggling, and illegal immigration. He also developed expertise in identifying, unraveling, and prosecuting large-scale cover-ups and complex criminal conspiracies.