The year 2016 is shaping up to be a record year of murder trials in Loudoun County.
Two more murder trials were formally added to the Circuit Court schedule Monday. If schedules hold, four groups of Loudoun jurors will combine to spend more than 40 days weighing evidence in murder cases next year.
First up is the trial of Marco Corletto, who is charged with murder in the 2014 fatal stabbing of Roxana Rico in Leesburg. The eight-day trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 16.
After several delays, the first-degree murder case against Braulio M. Castillo is scheduled for an 18-day jury trial beginning May 17. He is accused of killing his estranged wife, Michelle, and staging the scene to appear to be a suicide in the basement of her Ashburn home.
Castillo appeared in Judge Stephen E. Sincavage’s courtroom Monday to schedule a pre-trial motion.
Two other murder suspects also appeared in the courtroom that day.
Kevin N. Forde is a Baltimore man charged with first-degree murder in the 2014 shooting death of his wife Ruby C. Forde along a Loudoun Road. Following a psychiatric review, Forde has been declared competent to stand trial. That five-day jury trial is scheduled to begin May 23.
The other murder case scheduled for trial this week was for Travon Ellis. The Leesburg man is charged with second-degree murder in the Oct. 2, 2014, death of his daughter, Devyn Ellis. His 10-day trial is scheduled to begin July 5.
In April, Minh Nguyen is scheduled for a two-day sentencing hearing. He pleaded guilty in October to a charge of first-degree murder in the death of his ex-wife’s husband, Corey Mattison, in Ashburn Village.
The 2017 docket is filling up, too. The capital murder trial of Anthony R. Roberts—the third suspect charged in the 2009 death of William Bennett and the severe beating of his wife, Cynthia Bennett, in Lansdowne—is scheduled to start Sept. 11, 2017 and to last for 68 days. A significant block of that time is set aside for the jurors to decide whether to impose the death penalty should they hand up a guilty verdict.