On March 7, a jury convicted Endalkachew Merid, a 58-year old city resident, of first-degree murder with regards to the murder of his domestic partner, June Seay. The crime occurred in October 2017 at the victim’s apartment on N. Howard Street.
Merid was convicted of two counts: Murder in the First Degree and Abduction by Force. The matter was prosecuted by Chief Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Molly Sullivan and Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Erin Earp.
After returning the convictions, the jury reconvened and recommended that Merid serve the following sentence: On Count One, Murder in the First Degree: life in prison; and On Count Two, Abduction: 10 years in prison.
Under Virginia law, a jury is allowed to recommend a sentence to the presiding judge. However, the judge maintains the ultimate responsibility for sentencing the defendant. The judge will pronounce sentence at a Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney hearing that is currently scheduled for April 25. At this hearing, the judge will hear evidence and argument from the parties and may either accept or reduce the jury’s recommended sentence. The judge is not empowered to increase the sentence.
The defendant is incarcerated in the William G. Truesdale Alexandria Adult Detention Center pending the sentencing hearing.