The man charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the 2018 shooting deaths of Mala Manwani and her adult son, Rishi Manwani, is seeking a release from jail pending a month-long trial set next spring.
Bryan Kuang-Ming Welsh, 38, has been behind bars since Oct. 24, following a direct indictment by a Loudoun grand jury.
His attorney, Thomas B. Walsh, requested a bond hearing in a Nov. 19 motion that cites exculpatory evidence and raises allegations that prosecutors or investigators intentionally withheld information about the indictments so Welsh could be arrested for failure to appear in court.
The Manwanis were found dead at their Tomey Court home in Aldie on Jan. 31, 2018.
Welsh was initially charged with murder in the case in March 2018 but was released that August just before a preliminary hearing was scheduled in Loudoun District Court. At that time, prosecutors had dropped the charges after a ballistics report showed that nine bullets found at the crime scene did not match the gun found in Welsh’s possession.
Welsh remained the central suspect in the killings. Investigators believe the crime was drug related and that the firearm had been altered after the shootings.
In his motion requesting a bond hearing, Walsh cited DNA evidence found on a wallet that was left on Rishi Manwani’s chest. That DNA did not match Welsh, but was linked to a 2001 case in James City County in which a woman was accused of sticking children with toothpicks, needles and syringes in grocery stores. DNA recovered on a toothpick during that investigation turned up as a substantial match to what was found on the wallet. Walsh is seeking more information about the 25 victims involved in the James City incidents.
The motion also discloses that Sheriff’s Office investigators in February 2018 obtained two letters from the girlfriend of a Prince William County inmate that indicated she and others had committed the Manwani shootings. That information was not turned over to the defense prior to Welsh’s original bond hearing in May 2018.
Walsh argues that Welsh posed no threat or flight risk since his release 14 months ago and that he should be considered a candidate for release on bond until his trail.
On Monday, a bond hearing was set for Dec. 10.
A jury trial is scheduled to begin March 2 and continue for 25 days.