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Alfredo Rolando PRIETO

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Serial rapist
Number of victims: 3 - 9
Date of murders: 1988 - 1990
Date of arrest: September 6, 1990
Date of birth: 1966
Victims profile: Veronica "Tina" Jefferson, 24 / Rachael A. Raver, 22, and Warren H. Fulton III, 22 / Manuel F. Sermeno, 27 / Stacey Siegrist, 19, and Tony Gianuzzi, 21 / Herbert, 65, and Lula Farley, 71 / Yvette Woodruff, 15
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: California/Virginia, USA
Status: Sentenced to death in California on June 18, 1992. Sentenced to death in Virginia on November 5, 2010
 
 
 
 
 
 
photo gallery
 
 
 
 
 

Supreme Court of Virginia

 
Alfredo Rolando Prieto v. Commonwealth of Virginia - 2009
 
Alfredo Rolando Prieto v. Commonwealth of Virginia - 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 

Serial killer to be executed

By Tom Jackman - WashingtonPost.com

December 16, 2010

Serial killer Alfredo Prieto, convicted of three murders and suspected of six more, was given two death sentences Thursday morning by a Fairfax County judge.

Prieto, 45, was convicted of the rape and capital murder of Rachael A. Raver, 22, and the capital murder of Warren H. Fulton III, 22, in a vacant lot near Reston in December 1988. He also was convicted of the rape and capital murder of Yvette Woodruff, 15, in Ontario, Calif., in 1990, and has been on death row in California since 1992.

While in prison in California, Prieto's DNA was linked to the Raver-Fulton homicides, and also the rape and murder of Veronica "Tina" Jefferson, 24, in Arlington in May 1988.

A Fairfax jury in November imposed the death sentences on Prieto, and Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Randy I. Bellows said he saw no reason to reduce the sentences to life without parole.

"What you did to those two young people was vile and horrible and beyond the pale," the judge said. Prosecutors said Prieto shot both Raver and Fulton in the back, and then raped Raver as she bled to death.

As Prieto stood to be led out of the courtroom, Raver's mother, Veronica Raver, stood and yelled at him, "Hey Prieto, does your mother know you rape dying dead girls?" As her family restrained her, she added disgustedly, "Twenty two years of this crap."

Prieto did not respond.

Veronica Raver said she had rehearsed her brief comment and that it was not meant to be threatening, merely an honest expression of her feelings toward him.

Four of the jurors who heard the case returned to courtroom 4G to hear the sentence. Rob Shapiro of Centreville said he returned to show "empathy with the family, to show support. To let the [prosecution] team know how well they did. And for me, a little bit of closure, having struggled through such an experience."

Prieto is the first person to receive a death sentence in Fairfax since Mir Aimal Kasi in 1998, for a double murder outside CIA headquarters in Langley. He was executed in 2002.

Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh said he sought capital punishment for Prieto, even though he was already on death row in California, "because he'll never get the death penalty in California. He effectively has a life sentence. I think it was time to bring him to justice for his horrible crimes. I think he got just what he deserved."

In addition to his three murder convictions, Prieto is suspected but not charged in the killings of Jefferson in 1988 and Manuel Sermeno in Prince William in 1989, and the double slayings of Stacey Siegrist and Tony Gianuzzi, and Lula and Herbert Farley, in Riverside County, Calif., in 1990.

 
 

Prieto sentenced to death for Fairfax murders

By Tom Jackman - Washington Post Staff Writer

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Fairfax County jury imposed two death sentences Friday on serial killer Alfredo R. Prieto for the murders of Rachael A. Raver and Warren H. Fulton III near Reston in December 1988. The jury was told that Prieto, 44, had been sentenced to death for a 1990 rape and murder in California and that he was linked by DNA to a fourth slaying, in Arlington County in May 1988. But jurors were not told that ballistics tests link Prieto to a fifth homicide, in Prince William County in 1989.

Neither did they learn that authorities in California are linking Prieto to four additional slayings there, involving a pair of abductions and double homicides in spring 1990. That would link Prieto to nine killings in slightly more than two years.

Prieto has been incarcerated in California since his arrest there in 1990, and he has been on death row since 1992 for the rape and murder of Yvette Woodruff, 15.

In 2005, Fairfax's cold case homicide unit resubmitted the DNA from the unsolved rape and shooting of Raver and the killing of her boyfriend, Fulton, in an empty lot near Hunter Mill Road. At some point after Prieto entered San Quentin State Penitentiary, his DNA was entered into a national database, and it matched the semen left at the scene of Raver's killing.

Then-Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. decided that Virginia could extradite Prieto and convict and execute him more quickly than California, where Prieto's appeals had already lasted for 13 years. But Horan could not foresee the tortuous road ahead for the prosecutors, police, defense attorneys and surviving family members.

In 2007, after a six-week trial, a mistrial was declared when a juror claimed he had been pressured into convicting Prieto. In 2008, after an eight-week trial, Prieto was convicted again and sentenced to death. But the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that the verdict form given to jurors was incorrect and ordered a resentencing.

And so, Raver's and Fulton's families returned to Fairfax for a third time. Raver, of Yorktown, N.Y., had recently graduated from George Washington University and lived in Alexandria at the time she was killed. Fulton, a senior and baseball captain at George Washington, lived with his parents in Vienna.

Commonwealth's Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh, who had been Horan's chief deputy for the first two trials (Horan retired in 2007), took over the prosecution, while attorneys Peter D. Greenspun and Jonathan Shapiro launched their third defense of Prieto.

This time, the jury was empaneled simply to decide whether Prieto should be executed. Jurors were told of the Woodruff killing and that an earlier jury had convicted Prieto of capital murder in the slayings of Raver and Fulton.

The defense team did not, as it did in the first two trials, posit that Prieto was mentally retarded and thus ineligible for a death sentence. Instead, it presented extensive evidence of Prieto's horrific upbringing in war-torn El Salvador.

Prieto regularly saw dead and mutilated bodies in the street, his father brutalized his mother before going to prison, and he watched guerrillas murder his grandfather before he legally entered this country with his mother at age 15. She had left the family six years earlier. Two experts testified about the lasting damage done by exposure to war, poverty, abuse and abandonment.

"I'm not trying to tell you those things excuse what he did," Shapiro told jurors. "But you can consider whether his moral culpability is reduced. . . . Kids exposed to this stuff become desensitized. It changes your values. It changes your moral code. It changes the way your brain develops."

Morrogh took the jury back to Dec. 3, 1988, when Raver and Fulton had dinner with Fulton's parents, attended a Christmas party and then went to Mister Day's, a bar in the District. They left after midnight and weren't seen until their bodies were discovered two days later. No one knows how or where Prieto met them.

Prieto has never cooperated with investigators or testified at any of his trials.

Fulton had been shot in the back, the medical examiner found, and Morrogh theorized that Raver, forced to disrobe, then ran terrified through the dark bramble until she was shot in the back, too. Morrogh said Prieto raped Raver as she lay dying.

"Anyone who would commit crimes this dastardly, amoral and inhuman," Morrogh said, "is someone who poses a threat to society."

He pulled out Raver's red shoes for the jury and said that Raver slipped them on in anticipation of a night of fun and that Prieto forced her to take them off and murdered her.

The jury deliberated for eight hours over two days before reaching its verdict. Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Randy I. Bellows will impose the jury's sentence, or reduce it to life without parole, Dec. 16.

In Riverside County, Calif., Stacey Siegrist, 19, and Tony Gianuzzi, 21, were also shot in the back, in May 1990, and Siegrist was raped. Their bodies were found in Rubidoux, Calif., the same place where the car used in Woodruff's murder was found. The killings remained unsolved until Riverside County Sheriff's Department cold case detectives submitted the DNA earlier this year and it matched Prieto, Riverside Sgt. Scott Brown said.

In June 1990 in Ontario, Calif., Herbert and Lula Farley were returning recyclables to a grocery store when Lula Farley, 71, was shot to death and Herbert Farley, 65, was abducted. His body was later found in Rubidoux. Brown said ballistics showed that the gun used to kill the Farleys was used to kill Siegrist and Gianuzzi. Prieto has not been charged in the four newly linked cases.

 
 

Authorities name suspect in four 1990 cold case killings

By Will Bigham - Insidesocal.com

November 16, 2010

Riverside County sheriff’s detectives today named a prolific killer from Pomona as a suspect in the unsolved slayings in 1990 of four people from Ontario and Montclair.

Investigators from the department’s Cold Case Unit identified 44-year-old Alfredo Prieto as the killer through DNA testing that was completed last month, according to a news release.

Prieto’s DNA was found at the Rubidoux crime scene where the bodies of a young couple — Stacey Siegrist, 19, and Anthony Gianuzzi, 21 — were discovered by a jogger on May 5, 1990.

Siegrist, of Montclair, and Gianuzzi, of Ontario, were each shot twice. Siegrist was also sexually assaulted, according to the news release.

Through ballistics testing, investigators discovered that the weapon used to kill Siegrist and Gianuzzi was also used in the double slaying in June 1990 of Ontario residents Lula Farley, 71, and her husband Herbert Farley, 65.

A gunman — believed to be Prieto — shot and killed Lula Mae Farley in an alley behind an Ontario supermarket where she and her husband were collecting recyclables, according to 1990 news coverage. Herbert Farley was abducted and later found shot to death in Rubidoux.

Prieto, identified by authorities as a Pomona Northside gang member, has been linked to nine killings in California and Virginia between May 1988 and September 1990, according to the news release.

He was sentenced to death in 1992 for the Sept. 2, 1990 rape and murder in Ontario of 15-year-old Yvette Woodruff. That case is “going through the appellate process,” the news release said.

Three years ago he was convicted of murdering two people in 1988 in Virginia, a crime that investigators linked to him through DNA evidence.

Last week a jury in Fairfax County, Virginia recommended Pietro be put to death for the murders of Rachael Raver and Warren Fulton III, both 22. A judge may impose the sentence Dec. 16, according to the Washington Post.

Sgt. Scott Brown said that even if Prieto is charged in Riverside County, it’s unlikely he will return to California to be prosecuted.

Authorities in Virginia have said they will likely execute Prieto within five to seven years if the death penalty is imposed, and will not release him to California if his appeals here are still pending, Brown said.

Authorities in Virginia believe Prieto killed two other people there in the late 1980s. He has not been charged in connection with those killings.

Abduction and killing

Siegrist and Gianuzzi were last seen together the evening of May 3, 1990. Two days later, a jogger discovered their bodies along a dirt service road in Rubidoux near the intersection of Canal and Alta streets.

According to the news release, Siegrist was sexually assaulted and shot in the side of her head and the back of her neck.

Gianuzzi’s wrists and feet were bound, and he had been shot in the back of the head and the back of the neck, according to the news release.

Detectives submitted evidence to a Texas laboratory this year that had been recovered from Siegrist’s body. Testing showed that the evidence contained Prieto’s DNA, according to the news release.

Detectives said they will seek murder charges against Prieto for Siegrist and Gianuzzi’s killings. It’s unknown when the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office will reach a decision in the case, according to the news release.

Siegrist’s family members released a statement this afternoon reacting to the identification of a suspect in Siegrist’s killing.

“We are relieved to know one of the persons involved has been caught,” the statement said. “However, closure is something families of murder victims will never have.

“Stacey was so full of life and so loved by her family. She had a lot of life left to live, that’s the real tragedy: a young person taken away before they’ve even had a chance to live.

“To have a loved one taken in such a brutal way has been too much to bear. No family should ever have to deal with that. The pain we’ve suffered is tremendous and never ending.

“You try to live with it, but it’s always there. All we have left of Stacey are our memories. Her smile, her laugh, we will never forget her and we will always miss her.

“Our heartfelt thanks and appreciation goes out to the Riverside (County) sheriff’s Cold Case Unit for their diligence with this case and hearts go out to the families of the other murder victims. To any other families that are going through this, don’t ever give up hope.”

Investigators believe one or two other people were involved in Siegrist and Gianuzzi’s killings, and urge anyone with information about the case to contact sheriff’s Investigator John Powers at 951-955-2777.

Ambushed in Ontario

On June 2, 1990, Lula Mae and Herbert Farley were ambushed by at two men as they foraged for cans behind a now-closed Alpha Beta supermarket on Mountain Avenue in Ontario.

Three witnesses told police that one man shot and killed Lula Mae Farley as the other man punched Herbert Farley inside the couple’s car.

The car then sped away with Herbert Farley and the two attackers inside, according to archived news coverage of the case.

Two hours later the car was found abandoned in Mira Loma. Herbert Farley’s body was not found until four days later. He had been shot to death and dumped in Rubidoux.

Six weeks after the killings, Steven Richard Valdez of Ontario, then 19, was charged with murdering the couple. The prosecution was dropped after a key witness was inconsistent in identifying Valdez as the shooter.

Ongoing investigation

Brown said that Riverside County sheriff’s detectives will soon visit Prieto in Virginia to try to interview him about his suspected killings in California, as well as other potential crimes.

Brown said Prieto’s motive in many of the cases in unclear, and can only be understood by investigators if stated by Prieto himself.

“Prieto is the only one that car reveal this to us,” Brown said.

Alfredo Prieto: A bloody trail

Source: Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and news archives.

May 10, 1988: DNA evidence has linked Prieto to the rape and shooting death of Tina Jefferson, 24, in Arlington, Virginia. Prieto has not been charged.

Dec. 3, 1988: Rachael Raver and Warren Fulton III, both 22, were shot to death in Reston, Virginia. Raver was also sexually assaulted. Prieto has been convicted of murdering Raver and Fulton, and a jury this month recommended he be put to death. A judge may impose the sentence Dec. 16.

Sept. 2, 1989: Manuel F. Sermeno, 27, was shot to death and discovered inside a burning car in Prince William, Virginia. Ballistics testing has linked Prieto to the case, but he has not been charged. Authorities in Virginia have said he’s unlikely to be prosecuted if sentenced to death for Raver and Fulton’s killings.

May 5, 1990: Stacey Siegrist, 19, and Anthony Gianuzzi, 21, were found shot to death in Rubidoux. Siegrist was also sexually assaulted. The couple had last been seen two days earlier and their car was discovered in Montclair. Riverside County sheriff’s investigators announced Tuesday that Prieto’s DNA was recently found on evidence from the crime scene.

June 2, 1990: Lula Farley, 71, and her husband Herbert Farley, 65, were ambushed by two men as they collected recyclables behind a supermarket in Ontario. Lula Farley was shot to death, and Herbert Farley was abducted and later found shot to death in Rubidoux. Prieto has been linked to the case through ballistics testing.

Sept. 2, 1990: Prieto and two other people kidnapped three people in Ontario during a burglary. Prieto sexually assault and fatally shot Yvette Woodruff, 15. The other two men sexually assaulted the other two women, then tried to kill them by repeatedly stabbing them. The women survived the attack. All three men were convicted and Prieto was sentenced to death.

 
 

Prieto speaks in Fairfax murder trial

By Tom Jackman - WashingtonPost.com

October 5, 2010

Convicted serial killer Alfredo Prieto, who has not testified or spoken at any length through countless hearings and two full murder trials in Fairfax County, spoke in open court in Fairfax for the first time Tuesday, and provided his side of a dispute over whether he has cooperated with a mental health expert for the prosecution.

It was a jaw-dropping moment at the end of an abbreviated day of testimony in Prieto's resentencing for a double murder and rape outside Reston in 1988.

Prieto has watched attentively but sat mute through two previous trials in Fairfax, occasionally answering a judge's questions with a "yes sir." Prieto also did not testify during his capital murder trial in California in 1991, which resulted in a death sentence.

Prieto's lawyers asked Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Randy I. Bellows to appoint a mental health expert to examine him to determine his mental state at the time of the December 1988 slayings of Rachael A. Raver and Warren H. Fulton III.

Bellows did so. Prosecutors then hired renowned forensic psychologist Stanton E. Samenow to perform a separate evaluation, and Bellows advised Prieto that he had to cooperate with Samenow, not just the defense expert, or he faced the prospect that the defense expert would not be allowed to testify.

But Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh said Prieto has refused to discuss anything related to the slayings of Raver and Fulton, and that he was advised to do so by his lawyers, Peter D. Greenspun and Jonathan Shapiro. So, with the jury out of the courtroom, Bellows turned to Prieto and asked him if that were the case.

"I spoke to Dr. Samenow for six or seven hours," Prieto said, speaking clearly and with a slight Spanish accent. "I answer all his questions. I even ask Dr. Samenow to tape record it."

Bellows asked Prieto if he had refused to discuss the specific events of the case. "I spoke to him about a variety of issues," Prieto said. "I don't know if he wrote it down. Because most of the time he would just argue with me about my responses."

Bellows repeated his question, and Prieto responded, "Some of the questions I could not answer, under the Fifth Amendement, I have a right to remain silent."

Prieto continued, "He asked me some questions about my state of mind. What I said was, I was using a lot of drugs, I was drinking, I gave him a lot of answers. Some of the questions he was taking down, some of the questions, I guess he wanted a different response, he wasn't taking down."

Did Samenow ask Prieto if he had murdered Raver, Bellows asked?

"No sir," Prieto said.

He repeatedly said Samenow had not asked him any specifics about the case. "Some of his other questions, I just said I couldn't answer or I don't recall."

Bellows then said he wasn't sure what Prieto was refusing to answer, and said he would hold a hearing to ask Samenow his version of events. Prieto may then have to testify in response, which would appear to be his first visit to the witness stand since his arrest in 1990 in California.

A DNA hit in 2005 linked him to the earlier killings in Fairfax. A more recent DNA hit has reportedly linked Prieto to two more murders in Riverside County, Calif., and he is also suspected of homicides in Arlington and Prince William counties.

 
 

Convicted killer Alfredo Prieto returning to Fairfax County court for resentencing

By Tom Jackman - WashingtonPost,com

Monday, September 6, 2010

Alfredo R. Prieto, convicted of three murders and two rapes, will return to a Fairfax County courtroom for a sentencing trial Tuesday morning, when Fairfax prosecutors will try for a third time to obtain the death penalty.

Prieto, 44, was already on death row in California for the 1990 rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl when DNA evidence matched him to the rape and murder of Rachael A. Raver, and the murder of her boyfriend, Warren H. Fulton III, both 22, in a vacant lot outside Reston in December 1988.

Fairfax prosecutors extradited Prieto in 2006, under the theory that Virginia could convict and execute him while his appeals in California dragged on. He has also been charged in the May 1988 rape and killing of Veronica "Tina" Jefferson in Arlington County, although Arlington prosecutors have not moved forward with that case.

He has not been charged with a fifth homicide in Prince William County in 1989, although prosecutors there have said he is the prime suspect.

The jury in Prieto's first Fairfax trial, over six weeks in 2007, found him guilty of capital murder. But during the sentencing phase, a juror rebelled and sent out notes saying he'd been pressured by other jurors. Judge Dennis J. Smith declared a mistrial.

The jury in Prieto's second trial, an eight-week case in 2008, found him guilty of capital murder and imposed two death sentences. But last year, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that Judge Randy I. Bellows had given that jury an improper verdict form that didn't include all the options. A resentencing -- not a full retrial -- was ordered.

And that sentencing, again before Bellows, is set to begin with jury selection Tuesday. Unlike in the first two trials, longtime Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. will not be at the prosecution table. His successor, Commonwealth's Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh, will be joined by Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Casey Lingan.

It is not clear how many members of the Raver and Fulton families will attend and listen to the brutal evidence -- Horan theorized that Fulton was shot in the back of the head while on his knees and that Raver was shot as she ran away and raped as she lay dying.

Defending Prieto for the third time will be veteran lawyers Jonathan Shapiro and Peter D. Greenspun, appointed by the court. Court records show the defense was paid nearly $360,000 for attorney and witness fees and costs in the first trial, and about $265,000 for the second trial.

Complicated legal issues loom for both sides. For the prosecution, Morrogh and Lingan must show a new jury the crimes for which Prieto was convicted in 2008, which is typically done in the "guilt-or-innocence" phase of a trial, and then argue for a death sentence.

On the other side, Greenspun and Shapiro must decide whether to raise the mitigating defense that Prieto was mentally retarded at the time of the killings and, therefore, not eligible for the death penalty.

That theory, based on the trauma he experienced growing up in war-torn El Salvador in the 1980s, apparently was persuasive to the juror who rebelled in the first trial. But it did not work in the second trial.

Greenspun and Shapiro have not said whether they will raise the issue a third time.

Three hundred Fairfax residents have been summoned and will be questioned on their ability to rule fairly in a death-penalty case. The defense has estimated that this phase might take two weeks, with opening statements Sept. 21. In the two previous trials, jury selection took four days and eight days.

The sentencing trial is then expected to last through October. Bellows rejected a defense request that he recuse himself because of his strong comments in imposing the jury's death sentence after the second trial.

 
 

Two Death Sentences In '88 Fairfax Killings

By Tom Jackman - WashingtonPost.com

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Fairfax County judge yesterday handed Alfredo R. Prieto two death sentences in the slayings of a young couple 20 years ago, saying he could not fathom "the desperation, horror and sheer terror" Prieto inflicted on them in a field near Reston.

"On the night you executed them," Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Randy I. Bellows told Prieto, "you turned the final moments of their life into what could be described as a living hell."

Prieto, 42, was convicted in February of the rape and murder of Rachael A. Raver and the murder of Warren H. Fulton III, both 22, in December 1988. Prieto's attorneys then tried to convince the jury that the defendant, with an IQ of about 70, was mentally retarded and not eligible for the death penalty. After three weeks of testimony, the jury rejected the retardation defense and said Prieto should die for both killings.

Prieto is on death row in California for the 1990 rape and killing of 15-year-old Yvette Woodruff in Ontario, Calif. As a result of his incarceration there, his DNA was entered into a nationwide DNA data bank. In 2005, that data bank provided a hit out of the blue on the DNA left at the scene of Raver's and Fulton's slayings near Hunter Mill Road on Dec. 4, 1988. Prieto is suspected in two other slayings in Arlington and Prince William counties.

Former Fairfax commonwealth's attorney Robert F. Horan Jr., who retired in the fall but stayed with the Fairfax case, sought Prieto's extradition to Virginia, despite the California death sentence, because Prieto's appeals were moving slowly and in 2005 were expected to take 10 more years. Horan obtained two murder indictments against Prieto in November 2005, and California agreed to send him to Virginia in April 2006.

Nine of the jurors in the Fairfax case, as well as many of Raver's relatives, sat in Bellows's courtroom yesterday to find out whether he would uphold their verdict. And when Bellows, a father of five, looked at and spoke of the families of Raver and Fulton, he teared up and his voice cracked.

"You ruined their lives," Bellows told Prieto. "They will never, never recover. I could not put it better than Mrs. [Jackie] Fulton did when she said that the bullet you put in her son went through him and lodged in her heart."

Prieto, given the opportunity to make a statement, said: "I have nothing to say, by lawyer's advice." He plans to appeal.

Prieto did not react when Bellows sentenced him to death, twice, and imposed consecutive sentences of life, 20 years and six years for the rape, theft of Raver's car and use of a gun. It was the first death sentence issued in Fairfax since the 1998 sentencing of Mir Aimal Kasi for the fatal shootings of two CIA employees outside the agency's headquarters in Langley in 1993.

As Prieto rose to be escorted from the courtroom, Raver's brother Matthew leaned over and said, "Hey, Prieto, go to your room." Prieto shook his head but said nothing. Matthew Raver later said that Prieto "likes to have control, so I wanted to let him know he wouldn't have control anymore."

Veronica Raver, Rachael Raver's mother, traveled from Yorktown, N.Y., one last time to watch a case that went through one five-week trial that ended in a mistrial in the summer and then an eight-week retrial this year, virtually all of which she sat through. "We're pleased and thank God it's over," she said after the sentencing. "It's everything I prayed for. I'm still trembling." Then she turned and mildly scolded her son for speaking to Prieto.

Police say they think Prieto intercepted Raver and Fulton somewhere between a sports bar in the District and Fairfax, and forced them to drive at gunpoint to an unlit lot that is now occupied by houses. Horan theorized that Prieto ordered Fulton to his knees and shot him once in the back. Horan said Raver then ran, was shot once in the back and raped as she lay dying.

In addition, prosecutors in Arlington obtained a murder indictment against him, saying he was linked by DNA to a May 1988 rape-murder. The details of the slaying of Veronica "Tina" Jefferson, 24, were used in the sentencing phase of the Fairfax case to help persuade the jury to impose the death sentence.

Arlington prosecutors said yesterday that they still are planning to try Prieto in September.

Prince William prosecutors said Prieto is a suspect in the September 1989 slaying of Manuel F. Sermeno, whose body was found in a burning car near Interstate 95. But with three death sentences imposed, prosecutors there are unlikely to try Prieto.

A juror from Prieto's first Fairfax trial, along with the nine jurors from the second trial, watched the sentencing. The foreman of the second jury, Raymond G. Melusky Jr. of Fairfax, said his colleagues wanted "to try to show some support for the family. And really, to see it through to its conclusion. It's very rational, very fair, very unanimous."

Prosecuting Prieto in Fairfax cost taxpayers about $700,000, court records show. The first trial, including legal fees and expenses for the defense, witness fees and expenses for both sides, and transcripts, cost $392,777. The second trial's costs total $298,415, but the figure is not final.

State law required Bellows to set an execution date, which he did for Oct. 3. But he immediately suspended that date pending post-trial motions, which will be followed by appeals to the Virginia Supreme Court and then to the federal courts.

Horan said the process could be over in five years. Kasi was executed less than five years after his sentencing.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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