A Virginia inmate that was released as part of the COVID-19 plan to keep prisoners safe from the virus, shot and killed the woman who accused him of rape last month.
The suspect, identified as Ibrahim E. Bouaichi, was indicted last year on charges for rape, strangulation, and abduction.
Given the serious nature of the incident, he was initially jailed without bond in Alexandria, local news affiliate ABC 7 reported.
But in the wake of the pandemic, lawyers for Bouaichi argued that for their client’s safety as well as their own safety it would be best to set him free on a $25,000 bond.
Circuit Court Judge Nolan Dawkins consented on the condition that the defendant would only leave his Maryland home to meet his attorneys or attend pretrial services.
Bouaichi, 33, didn’t follow the plan. Instead, he murdered the Venezuela woman who had testified against him back in December.
Attorneys for Bouaichi — Manuel Leiva and Frank Salvato — said in a statement that they were “certainly saddened by the tragedy both families have suffered here” and that they “were looking forward to trial. Unfortunately the pandemic continued the trial date by several months and we didn’t get the chance to put forth our case.”
Meanwhile, Judge Dawkins, who incidentally retired back in June, did not comment when contacted by The Washington Post.
After killing his accuser in late July, local police and federal marshals eventually spotted Bouaichi. He was in Prince George’s County last Wednesday. Following a pursuit that ended with Bouaichi crashing his car, the accused rapist shot himself.
Bouaichi later died from his injuries.
Tragically, Bouaichi isn’t the only inmate in Virginia to be released and then reoffend. Justin Wilson, 26, was set free back in April due to COVID-19 concerns. Mr. Wilson then went on to stab to death 63-year-old Edigio Lenzi in July.
It’s worth noting that none of the recent gun-control laws enacted by Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam prevented Bouaichi from shooting and killing his victim.