Alleged Columbia Pike Killer Waives Right to Preliminary Hearing

Case goes before an Arlington County Grand Jury in December.

James Sylvester Caroline, the man accused of killing a Columbia Pike jewelry store owner in late July, has waived his right to a preliminary hearing. His case will go before an Arlington County Grand Jury next month.

Caroline, 53, was scheduled to have his hearing Thursday. Such hearings are held to determine if enough probable cause exists to send a case to a grand jury.

Last week, Caroline waived his right to the hearing, Commonwealth's Attorney Theo Stamos said. His case will now go before a grand jury on Dec. 17.

Caroline is accused of killing 52-year-old Tommy Wong during a robbery of Wong's jewelry store on Columbia Pike in late July. Earlier this month, Arlington Police Capt. Michelle Nuneville said some detectives didn't sleep for up to 48 hours as they worked to find him.

Caroline's preliminary hearing was initially scheduled for early October, but had been postponed until this week.

Under Virginia law, murder committed during a robbery or attempted robbery is a capital offense.

Arlington County police arrested Caroline on Aug. 2 and charged him with a probation violation. He was charged with first-degree murder the next day.

Caroline was on probation for a series of credit card fraud and theft charges.

Friends and family described Wong, of Herndon, as a hard-working family man and a beloved member of the community. More than 200 people attended a candlelight vigil for him on Aug. 1.


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