Trial Set For Sterling Murder Case
A 10-day jury trial has been schedule for the teen charged with first-degree murder in the Centeno Miranda, the Park View High School student fatally shot Sept. 5.
A Loudoun grand jury on Monday handed up indictments against 17-year-old Jose Miguel Espinosa De Dios. In addition to first-degree murder, the Mexican national is charged gang participation; shooting, stabbing or wounding in the commission of felony; and use of a firearm in the commission of felony. He faces life in prison. The juvenile will be tried as an adult.
Also charged in the case are Juan Moises Aguirre Zelaya, 19, and Henry Ernesto Dominguez Vasquez, 20. The stepbrothers are charged in their roles as accessories after the fact. During a District Court preliminary hearing in the case, investigators said Espinosa came to their residence after the shooting.
Investigators say the shooting was tied to a gang rivalry.
Espinosa’s trial is scheduled to begin July 11.
Maryland Man Pleads Guilty To Arson Charge
The man charged with attempting to set fire to the office of his probation officer in 2012 this week pleaded guilty to federal charges in the case.
Jonathan Ernesto Godoy, 25, of Frederick, MD, faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 15 years, and up to 20 years.
The incident happened Nov. 14, 2012. Fire crews were dispatched to the Loudoun County Community Corrections office on Loudoun Street in Leesburg just after 6 a.m. for a report of a structure fire. The fire, largely limited to first floor office space, caused $200,000 in damage.
In testimony in Loudoun court last fall, Probation Officer Diane Harrington said Godoy was on probation for a possession of methadone conviction but was not complying with the conditions of his release over a series of months. On the day before the fire, Godoy reported for a required meeting and failed a drug test for a second time in four months—getting yet another warning that he would likely be headed back to court and then back to jail.
The next morning, Harrington arrived at her office about 6:10 a.m. to find smoke throughout the building. After the fire was extinguished, investigators found a broken Perrier water bottle, evidence of an accelerant and a piece of cloth—the makings of a Molotov cocktail—on the floor of Harrington’s office. There was a hole in a window through which the bottle had been thrown. Outside, investigators found evidence of a second bottle that bounced off the office.
Godoy was charged following a 21-month investigation by the county Fire Marshal’s Office with the support of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI.
Sheriff Issue Warning On Rim Rip-offs
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a series of wheel and rim thefts from SUVs and pick-up trucks.
On Tuesday, two thefts were reported in the Ashburn area. A vehicle parked in the area of Demott Drive and Welby Terrace had the wheels and rims removed. Wheels and rims also were taken from second vehicle parked on Iredell Terrace.
Similar thefts have been reported since July on Pleasant Valley Road in Chantilly, as well as thefts in the Ashburn area on Middleburg Street, Tara Court, Pioneer Ridge Terrace, Fairhunt Drive, Crossbow Court, Avonworth Square, Ridgeway Drive and Golden Autumn Place.
The vehicles targeted include SUVs and pick-up trucks and have been parked in driveways, the street and a commercial business parking lot. The targeted vehicles typically have customized rims with standard oversized tires. Detectives have been working with neighboring jurisdictions to determine if similar cases in the region are related.
The sheriff’s office advises residents to take the following precautions to help deter tire and wheel thefts:
- park vehicles in a garage or well-lit area and turn wheels at an angle;
- install wheel locks;
- and install a car alarm that includes sensors for the wheels.
Residents are encouraged to report all suspicious activity immediately by calling 703-777-1021.
Anyone with any information regarding these cases is asked to contact Detective M. Hall at 571-258-3043.
Truck Driver Wanted For Signal Damage
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is seeking witnesses to a hit-and-run case in which two traffic signals at the intersection of Belmont Ridge Road and Portsmouth Boulevard were damaged by a commercial vehicle.
The damage occurred Thursday, Nov. 5, at about 1:30 p.m. when a truck, possibly a dump truck, struck the overhead signals in the southbound lanes of Belmont Ridge Road, causing $3,000 in damage. All of the signals at the intersection lost power for nearly three hours.
Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to call Investigator R. Beach at 703-777-1021.