Two gardeners were killed. Some say the suspect should have been imprisoned.

Juan Carlos Anaya Hernandez was an aspiring musician who sang neighbors outside the Alexandria apartment complex where his family had settled after fleeing violence in El Salvador.

His stepfather, Adrián de Jesus Rivera Guzman, has been the rock of the family — working as a landscaping contractor to pay rent, phone bills and groceries, lend a helping hand to neighbors in need, and enjoy appearing on TikTok videos of his wife and stepdaughter.

Anaya Hernandez, 24, and Rivera Guzman, 48, were at work performing landscaping services when they were fatally shot at around 7:30 a.m. on July 16. innocent bystanders.”

“They just left. I walked my husband two blocks with him, with his breakfast, and some bread in a bag,” said Laura Hernandez, the wife and mother of the victims. “It wasn’t even 20 minutes; It was about 15 minutes when we got the call that he was on the floor.”

Police revealed few details about what happened, but the shootings reverberated throughout Northern Virginia. The man police identified as a suspect in the case – 27-year-old Frances Dunett Rose – was released from law enforcement custody in neighboring Arlington County several months ago after prosecutors dropped drug and weapons charges against him. The county police union and the Virginia Republican Party criticized the Democratic Commonwealth’s attorney over the move — although it came after a judge suppressed evidence in the case, ruling that police illegally searched Rose’s bag.

Police: Two men killed in Alexandria were pedestrians doing landscaping

Rose has not been charged in the Alexandria murders, and she is being held on charges that include burglary and entering a building illegally. Alexandria Commonwealth attorney Brian Porter said Thursday that no further charges are expected in the coming days. The attorney listed as Rose in court records for the unlawful entry, Tasso R. Saunders, did not respond to requests for comment.

Rivera Guzman told his wife that two men approached him about 2:30 p.m. the day before the shooting, she said, and asked him if he was the owner of trucks and landscaping equipment outside the apartments.

It sounded fishy, ​​Hernandez said, but “they thought it wasn’t about them.”

“We had no reason to be afraid of them, because we had no problems and we had no money,” she said.

Police in the capital and Arlington filed charges separately Court records show that Rose has illegally carried firearms in the past. Rose was charged in 2019 with illegal possession of a .45-caliber loaded revolver that the Metropolitan Police recovered after he threw it to the ground during a foot pursuit. Rose pleaded guilty, but court records show that he did not represent the last hearings on probation.

in October In 2020, Rose was charged in Arlington County for illegal possession of a firearm with intent to distribute heroin, possession of the gun as a convicted nonviolent offender, possession of cocaine and possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute. A little less than a year and a half later, the case will be dropped.

Rose’s court records show He was a passenger in a car that was in Arlington County The police stopped the place because the registered owner had a pending license. Police smelled marijuana and ordered the driver and Rose to get out of the car, according to court records.

Rose was wearing a Louis Vuitton crossbody bag strapped to his shoulder, and police told him to leave it in the car, according to the court filing. The police found a loaded Glock pistol inside the bag And cocaine and fentanyl in his pockets, according to court records.

Rose was held in prison after being charged. But last February, an Arlington County judge ruled that the search process that exposed the gun and drugs was unconstitutional. His defense attorney in that case, Molly Newton, successfully argued that police were not legally authorized to search the bag because it was “attached” to Rose, citing a 2002 decision by the Virginia Court of Appeals. Newton argued that without probable cause to search anything other than the car, the drugs in Rose’s pockets and the gun in his bag could not be admissible as evidence in court.

Arlington County Circuit Judge William T. Newman Jr. suppressed the evidence from the search, noting that he had a similar Louis Vuitton bag. Prosecutors immediately moved to drop the charges.

“Maybe it was a small crime he was guilty of, but now there are victims,” ​​Hernandez said of Rose. I know if he was in prison, my son and husband wouldn’t come back. They are gone forever. And even if it’s hard for me to believe, these are things. I accept it. But this guy can’t get out. He can’t get out.”

After Anaya Hernandez and Rivera Guzman were shot and killed, a Twitter account run by the Virginia Republican Party blamed Arlington Commonwealth attorney Parisa Dehghani Tafti (Democrat). “If she had done her job, two people would be alive today,” the tweet said.

Dehghani Tafti responded on Twitter, calling the murder of the park organizers a tragedy and the accusation from the Virginia Republican a “outrageous and irresponsible lie.”

The facts: the defendant charged us and got an indictment from a grand jury; We asked that he be denied bail. held for two years prior to trial; Move to suppress the guide. The court agreed, finding that the police search violated the Fourth Amendment,” she tweeted last month.

In a press release, the Arlington Police Alliance criticized Dehghani Tafti’s response and said it should have appealed Newman’s ruling or organized training so similar problems would not recur in police searches.

An Arlington County police officer testified at his February hearing that officers in his district were trained to require people to leave their bags inside any vehicle to be searched, “for reasons of officer safety.” Asked if Arlington Police trained officers in this way, department spokeswoman Ashley Savage referred to the written policy for searches and forfeitures.

“Officer searches and seizures shall be conducted reasonably and in accordance with the Fourth Amendment, applicable state law, and relevant case law, taking into account the entirety of the circumstances of the incident in order to ensure a fair and effective criminal justice process,” the police directive says.

“In the interest of the safety of everyone on site, the passenger was separated from the bag,” Savage said of Rose’s search in 2020, adding that the police’s actions “were reasonable and prudent based on information known at the time, however, we respect the judgment of the District Circuit Court Chief.” Arlington William Newman”.

After Arlington authorities released Rose, another judge scheduled hearings to review Rose’s test for his 2019 conviction for illegal handgun possession in the Washington, D.C. District Attorney’s Department of a request in May to rescind or amend Rose’s test, according to court records. D.C. Supreme Court Judge Michael Ryan scheduled a hearing to review Rose’s test in June, but he failed to appear and “lost contact,” court records show.

A lawyer for Rose told a DC court in April that Rose had done so “He registered at the Suboxon Clinic in Arlington.” Court records in Washington, D.C. show that a judge shortened Rose’s sentence in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Rose’s address listed in the records was in Alexandria – in the same area where Anaya Hernandez and Rivera Guzman were murdered.

Hernandez said death chased her his family for years, even before he arrived in the US in 2018.

She said her eldest son was killed in El Salvador, which the family then abandoned due to rampant gang violence. A second son was killed in Guatemala after Hernandez ignored threats to pay “rent” to the local gang that controlled the area where she set up her business, she said.

Her husband of 18 years, Rivera Guzman, said he adopted and raised her children from a young age.

Now, her surviving son, Jeremias Ezequiel Anaya Hernandez, is concerned about how the family will cover her power. He said that his brother, Juan Carlos, was supportive of their mother and taking steps to establish his new life in the United States.

He said, ‘I want to do everything in order. First, my house, my things. “God willing, my wife and my family,” said Anaya Hernandez. Those were his dreams.

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