Say What Now? Va. Man Found Guilty of First-Degree Murder and Arson for Killing Woman He Thought Was His Ex |

Say What Now? Va. Man Found Guilty of First-Degree Murder and Arson for Killing Woman He Thought Was His Ex

A Virginia man has been found guilty of first-degree murder and arson for the killing of a mother of two last year who he thought was his ex.

via People:

NBC4 Washington reported that prosecutors said Richard Montano, 48, killed Silvia Vaca Abacay, 40, on Aug. 10, 2022, inside his ex-girlfriend Fatima Via Rojas’ Seven Corners apartment.

According to The Washington Post, prosecutors said Montano intended to kill Via Rojas after she had recently broken up with him “at least twice” in late July 2022 following a “volatile, abusive” eight-year relationship, in which Via Rojas testified in court that Montano had struck and kicked her.

However, Montana didn’t realize that Via Rojas’ friend Abacay, the mother of a son and daughter who live in Bolivia, was staying at the apartment when he attacked her upon answering the door, per NBC4 Washington.

“He quite literally went for the jugular. He went for the face, the head, the neck. He’s going to where it will inflict the most damage,” one lawyer said of Abacay’s injuries, according to the outlet.

The publication also reported that a medical examiner found Abacay’s body suffered/sustained “at least 10 blunt force injuries and 10 stab wounds.”

“Listen to the pain and anguish in Silvia’s voice as she is screaming for her life in that call,” a prosecutor said of a neighbor’s 911 call played in court to jurors.

Once Montano realized he had killed the wrong person, he tried to cover up the murder by setting her on fire, prosecutors argued, according to NBC4 Washington.

“He used her own clothing to burn her,” a prosecutor said, per the Washington Post. “He lit a body on fire to cover up a gruesome murder — a gruesome murder of the wrong person. He murdered the wrong person and now he needs to cover his tracks.”

As a result, the Fairfax Circuit Court jurors also found Montano guilty of arson on Thursday, per NBC4 Washington.

The Fairfax Circuit Court did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment. 

“I’ve seen considerable crime scenes and photos, but the photos from this case stood out in terms of the severity of the victim’s wounds,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said in a statement to the Washington Post.

“This case exhibited some of the most disturbing crime scenes I’ve encountered,” Descano also said in a statement, per Fox 5 Washington DC. “While we can’t bring Silvia back, we can ensure that Montano doesn’t pose further threats to the public.” 

According to Fox 5 Washington DC, Montano is facing life in prison as he awaits his sentencing trial on Jan. 24, 2024.

That man should be locked up because he’s both violent AND dumb.

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