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Attacker Pleads Guilty

August 15, 2002

James E. Brundage pled guilty to assault, robbery and two counts of burglary in Alexandria Circuit Court last week.

The plea came just before the trial was set to begin. Brundage was charged with stabbing a woman on Old Dominion Blvd. in Alexandria on May 1, following her into her home and stealing her purse. He was also charged with two home burglaries in that same neighborhood that occurred in the spring.

Circuit Judge Donald M. Haddock asked Brundage if he was aware that the maximum penalty for his crimes was life plus 60 years. He replied “Yes,” and Haddock accepted his plea.

“I guess he realized that his alibi witness really wasn’t going to help him very much so he decided to plead guilty,” said Commonwealth Attorney, S. Randolph Sengel.

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 12.

THE PRELIMINARY hearing for Zaid Bechara, scheduled for Aug. 5, was postponed until Aug. 26, because Bechara has been hospitalized once again as the result of his alleged self-inflicted wounds.

Bechara is accused of killing his wife in their Parkfairfax home in June, holding police at bay for several hours and stabbing himself. He was hospitalized for some time, released, arraigned and brought to the Alexandria Detention Center. He developed complications and was hospitalized once again last week. The new date for his preliminary hearing is Aug. 26.

THE VIRGINIA Court of Appeals has rejected Asher Levin’s appeal. Levin was convicted late last year of murdering Katelynn Frazier. At the time of the murder, three-year-old Katelynn was living with her biological mother and Levin in an Alexandria apartment. The family was under the supervision of the city’s Department of Human Services at the time of the child’s death.