Community members of slain chef condemn death as ‘hate crime’

Friends and family members gathered to remember the life of Tyonne Johns, a local chef who was stabbed to death at a wedding in Chantilly, Virginia, earlier this month. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Family and friends came to Empowerment Liberation Cathedral, an LGBT-celebrating congregation in Silver Spring, Maryland, for a memorial service for Tyonne Johns. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

Friends and family members gathered to remember the life of Tyonne Johns, a local chef who was stabbed to death at a wedding in Chantilly, Virginia, in August. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Friends and family members gathered to remember the life of Tyonne Johns, a local chef who was stabbed to death at a wedding in Chantilly, Virginia, earlier this month. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

"From what I've gathered and from what I believe, I know it's a hate crime," Abrams said. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
“From what I’ve gathered and from what I believe, I know it’s a hate crime,” Abrams said. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

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Friends and family members gathered to remember the life of Tyonne Johns, a local chef who was stabbed to death at a wedding in Chantilly, Virginia, earlier this month. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Friends and family members gathered to remember the life of Tyonne Johns, a local chef who was stabbed to death at a wedding in Chantilly, Virginia, in August. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
"From what I've gathered and from what I believe, I know it's a hate crime," Abrams said. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Friends and family members gathered to remember the life of Tyonne Johns, a local chef who was stabbed to death at a wedding in Chantilly, Virginia, earlier this month.

“She’ll be remembered as one who was an excellent chef, one who poured a lot into her work and poured a lot into the people,” said Bishop Allyson Abrams of Empowerment Liberation Cathedral, an LGBT-celebrating congregation in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Abrams led the memorial service where attendants sung hymns and prayed in remembrance of Johns, 35, who owned a catering business.

Her death shocked the community. On Aug. 6, Johns was working at a wedding at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, where she had been arguing with a seasonal park worker over who owned the chairs at the event, Fairfax County police say. Their argument escalated and the park employee, 19-year-old Kempton Bonds of Clifton, Virginia, stabbed Johns repeatedly with a 3-inch folding knife.

She was taken to a hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

“From what I’ve gathered and from what I believe, I know it’s a hate crime,” Abrams said.

Bonds is charged with second-degree murder and faces a Sept. 13 court hearing.

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