Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Michael Andrew Quesenberry

Christiansburg, Virginia

September 5, 2009

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
23 Army Sgt

2nd Platoon in the 1173rd Transportation Company of Martinsville and

 Rocky Mount, Virginia

 Served 2 tours in Iraq. Two Army Commendation Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Two Overseas Service Ribbons and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal.

Michael Andrew Quesenberry

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. - Sgt. Michael Andrew Quesenberry, 23, of Christiansburg, went home to be with God on Saturday, Sept. 5, 200
A 2004 graduate of Jack Britt High School in Fayetteville, N.C., Sgt. Quesenberry joined the Army National Guard during high school and was the Team Leader of the 2nd Platoon in the 1173rd Transportation Company of Martinsville and Rocky Mount, Va. During his military service, he completed two tours of duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and received the following awards: Two Army Commendation Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Two Overseas Service Ribbons and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal. He touched more people in his short life than most will ever reach in their lifetime; the memories and legacy he leaves behind will forever live on. The family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m. today, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009, at Horne Funeral Home in Christiansburg, Va. Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009, in Merrimac Pentecostal Holiness Church, conducted by the Rev. Jerry Sloss. Interment with full military honors will follow in Roselawn Memorial Gardens.
From The Roanoke Times roanoke.com 08/26/10:

Christiansburg man claims self-defense in death of his cousin
Keith Quesenberry plans to testify at his trial, his defense attorney said.
By Shawna Morrison | The Roanoke Times

CHRISTIANSBURG -- A Christiansburg man charged with killing his first cousin doesn't deny that he held him in a chokehold -- but says he did so in self-defense, his attorney said Wednesday.

In the first day of what is scheduled to be a two-day jury trial in Montgomery County Circuit Court for Keith Dean Quesenberry, his attorney, Jimmy Turk, said the death of Michael Andrew Quesenberry was an accident.

Keith Quesenberry, 22, is charged with voluntary manslaughter in the death of 23-year-old Michael Quesenberry early on the morning of Sept. 5, 2009.

He plans to testify during the trial, Turk said.

"There's nobody that really saw what happened," Turk said, so Keith Quesenberry will tell jurors what he recalls happened in a field across from Michael Quesenberry's home on Moose Drive.

On the night of Sept. 4, 2009, Keith Quesenberry and his brother, Seth Quesenberry, came to the home that Michael Quesenberry shared with his fiancee, ---.

For a few hours, the group played a drinking game called "beer pong," in which players try to throw pingpong balls into cups of beer, Harmon testified.

She said that every time Keith Quesenberry missed a shot, he yelled, cursed and kicked the wall. At one point, she said, he kicked a hole in the wall.

Later in the night, after some of Harmon's friends had arrived, Keith Quesenberry went outside, Harmon testified. Michael Quesenberry followed him out.

The next time she saw them, Keith Quesenberry was on top of Michael Quesenberry on the ground, with his arm around his neck.

"I started yelling at Keith to get off of him," she testified.

Seth Quesenberry pulled his brother off his cousin, Harmon testified.

But Michael Quesenberry's face had already turned blue, she said.

"He looked dead," she testified.

Seth Quesenberry attempted to perform CPR on Michael Quesenberry but couldn't revive him, she said.

Assistant Montgomery County Commonwealth's Attorney Erin Little said evidence will show that Keith Quesenberry "pressed and he pressed and he was choking Michael" until the cartilage in Michael Quesenberry's neck broke.

It takes only seconds for someone to pass out from a chokehold, she said, but three to five minutes to die.

She told jurors that Keith Quesenberry became more angry as the night wore on because other people kept telling him what to do.

Turk, however, said Michael and Keith Quesenberry were getting along well that night.

Both had served two tours in Iraq -- Michael in the National Guard and Keith in the Marines. Both held the same job, delivering supplies and goods to the front lines. That night, he said, the pair talked about trying to be put in the same unit.

He said that when Keith Quesenberry went outside, Michael Quesenberry tried to get him to come back in. When Keith refused, Michael tried to drag him and then jumped on top of him and tried to choke him, Turk said.

Keith Quesenberry feared for his life, Turk said.

It was only then, Turk said, that Keith Quesenberry began to choke Michael Quesenberry.

Wednesday's trial got off to a late start, beginning after 2 p.m., because it took longer than anticipated to seat a jury.

Several people in the pool of potential jurors were released from service because they are Virginia Tech professors expected to teach today or public schoolteachers who needed to attend open houses. Two others were released after saying they knew too much about how long it takes strangulation to kill a person to be fair.

Court staff had to call in additional people to add to the jury pool.

From The Roanoke Times roanoke.com 08/27/10:

Quesenberry convicted on lesser slaying count
A jury said the Christiansburg man committed involuntary manslaughter in his cousin's death.
By Shawna Morrison

CHRISTIANSBURG -- The rift created between family members last year when a Christiansburg man killed his first cousin likely grew wider Thursday, when the two sides clashed at the end of a hearing in Montgomery County Circuit Court.

Keith Dean Quesenberry, 22, had been charged with voluntary manslaughter in the Sept. 5, 2009, death of 23-year-old Michael Andrew Quesenberry.

After listening to testimony Wednesday and Thursday, a jury of seven men and five women convicted Keith Quesenberry of the lesser offense of involuntary manslaughter, showing that they thought he used more force than necessary to defend himself against Michael Quesenberry but that the killing wasn't intentional.

The jury recommended he spend five years in prison. He had faced up to 10 years.

He will be formally sentenced later, after a background report on him is completed.

As deputies took Keith Quesenberry, who has been out of jail on bond, into custody, his mother yelled that it wasn't right.

Michael Quesenberry's stepmother stood, but was silenced by a victim-witness coordinator.

Another family member left the courtroom in tears and with a deputy by her side, saying she had been threatened.

And earlier, Keith Quesenberry's father had left the courtroom after calling Michael Quesenberry's father a "damn liar."

At the time, Mickey Quesenberry was on the witness stand, testifying that he and his son were close.

Family members have said the two sides -- Michael's and Keith's -- have barely spoken since Michael Quesenberry's death.

Keith Quesenberry and his brother, Seth, went to visit Michael Quesenberry and his fiancee that night at their home on Moose Drive in Christiansburg. They played a drinking game, during which both Michael and Keith Quesenberry became intoxicated.

When Keith Quesenberry went outside to make a phone call, Michael Quesenberry followed.

Seth Quesenberry testified that he went outside twice and saw the pair on the ground, with Michael on top of Keith. He didn't think he needed to intervene, he said.

But he later came outside to find Keith on top, his arm around Michael's neck.

He pulled his brother off of his cousin and administered CPR.

Keith Quesenberry testified that he choked his cousin because Michael had been choking him.

His attorney, Jimmy Turk, showed the jury more than two dozen photos of bruises and abrasions on Keith Quesenberry's arms, neck and back that Keith Quesenberry said he received during the scuffle with his cousin.

"I thought he was going to hurt me very badly," he said. "He kept trying to fight me, so every time he would lift up to move, I would flex my arm."

The pressure on Michael Quesenberry's throat was so great that it broke the cartilage, a medical examiner testified.

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