David Jasante Cunningham was formally indicted on Monday (April 11) for the murder of Melia Jones in her West End apartment last December, and has also been charged with two counts of object sexual penetration.
The 40-year-old has been held without bond in the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center since his Jan. 11 arrest. Jones, who was described as a having a “gentle and sweet spirit” in her obituary, was killed by asphyxiation, according to the office of Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter.
Police found Jones wrapped in blankets, and that she was sexually assaulted and had a bag over her head, according to the Washington Post. Cunningham was Jones’ neighbor at the apartment building in the unit block of S. Van Dorn Street, after moving from New York in 2020.
Jones’ death was the second homicide of 2021.
Cunningham faces a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole for the aggravated murder charge and up to life in prison for the object sexual penetration charges. No trial date has been set.
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Time flies when you’re having fun! The T.C. Williams High School Class of 1973 will hold its 50th reunion July 21-23, 2023 in Alexandria. All graduates and their adult nears and dears are welcome. Events include a Friday evening icebreaker, Saturday dinner dance, and a Sunday brunch. For more information: tcwilliams73.com, 770.789.3534.