Grand Jury Indicts 2 on First-Degree Murder Charges for Sterling Shooting

A grand jury Monday indicted Gavin Collins and Joshua Hunter on first-degree murder charges associated with the July shooting death of Jose I. Escobar Menendez.

Collins faces an eight-day jury trial from April 6-15. Hunter faces a 10-day jury trial from March 15-26.

According to testimony during a Nov. 16 preliminary hearing, Menendez drove to Sterling from Winchester to meet with a friend he had met three weeks prior to his death. Digital information recovered by the Sheriff’s Office showed that texts being sent to Menendez came from the Sterling Sheetz, where surveillance video showed Hunter pumping gas into his Dodge Charger about 10 minutes before the shooting.

A surveillance video from the apartment complex near where Menendez was found shows headlights that Sheriff’s Office detectives identified as being the headlights of a Charger.

A nearby resident testified that she heard cars pull up to the complex, with at least two people talking, before she heard a “pop” at 2 a.m.

Detectives later found a single bullet casing fired from a .45-caliber handgun. Menendez’s friend also later discovered Menendez’s phone off the side of the Rt. 7 entrance ramp onto Rt. 28 south.

The grand jury indicted Collins, 22, on one count of first-degree murder, two counts of felony robbery, two counts of felony use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, one count of felony possession or transportation of a weapon, one count of felony possession of controlled substances, and one count of felony possession of a firearm while in the possession of a controlled substance.

The grand jury indicted Hunter, 22, on one count of first-degree murder, two counts of felony robbery, and two counts of felony use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Collins and Hunter have been held without bond at the Loudoun Adult Detention Center since July.

2 thoughts on “Grand Jury Indicts 2 on First-Degree Murder Charges for Sterling Shooting

  • 2020-12-19 at 8:41 pm
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    I anticipate the charges being reduced to reckless endangerment and they plead guilty with 6 months probation.

    • 2020-12-29 at 7:14 pm
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      You don’t know what the future holds. There could be evidence that warrants reducing the charges for both defendants or not. And also just because there is evidence to the contrary doesn’t mean that the evidence to the contrary will be taken into account. It all comes down to the jury.

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