Candidate Vows Fresh Look at Cornejo Case

Patrick McDade, a candidate for Commonwealth’s Attorney of Fairfax County in this November’s election, vowed a fresh review if elected of the case for a criminal prosecution in the 2005 shooting death of popular Falls Church resident Steve Cornejo. McDade made the promise this week in a letter published on the Blueweeds on-line blog that focuses on Falls Church political events. Mike Gardner, the author of the blog, asked McDade and his opponent, Ray Murrough, to comment on the case. Retiring Commonwealth Attorney Bob Horan made no charges in the case, but after a jury awarded the Cornejo family a $2 million civil verdict against Cornejo’s killer in 2006, Horan promised a further review. According to sources, Fairfax detectives completed that review over a month ago, but no action or comment on the review’s contents has been forthcoming from Horan’s office, even at the request of Falls Church Mayor Robin Gardner. While Murrough, described as a Horan protégé, has not responded yet to the Blueweeds inquiry, McDade wrote, “After looking into reports and testimony provided to me by the attorney on the civil case, I strongly believe the criminal case needs to be reviewed for prosecutorial merit. I can promise a fresh, non-biased examination will occur when I am elected and the appropriate prosecutorial decision will be made.” Cornejo, 22 at the time of his death, had been a popular student at George Mason High School in Falls Church, co-captain of its state championship soccer team.