West End double homicide suspect claims self-defense, was found hiding naked under a bed

The suspect in a 2022 West End double homicide pleaded not guilty in court Monday morning, and claims that he killed two construction workers in self-defense.

Francis Deonte Rose admits to shooting and killing construction workers Adrian Dejesus Rivera Guzman, 48, and his stepson, 24-year-old Juan Carlos Anaya Hernandez, on the morning of July 16, 2022 in the northern section of the former Assembly Alexandria apartment complex in the 200 block of Century Place.

Guzman was shot in the head and died later at the hospital. Hernandez was shot in the left clavicle and died at the scene.

Commonwealth’s Attorneys Joseph Martin and Maana Parcham are seeking to convict the 29-year-old Rose for two counts of second degree murder, two counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony, as well as unlawful entry, property destruction and burglary.

Martin said that Rose’s crimes escalated from mere burglary to “an unspeakable event,” and that a water break for a group of nearby construction workers on a hot summer morning would “irrevocably change many lives.”

Rose didn’t react as photos of Hernandez’s body were published in the court record and shown to the jury on Monday in what is expected to be a week-long trial.

Moore admits that Rose was the shooter, but said there was no premeditation and that his client was acting in self-defense. He said that the Commonwealth’s assertion that the killings were carried out in cold blood can’t be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. He also said that Rose’s blood was found on the handgun, indicating evidence of a fight but not a deliberate act.

“Mr. Rose had been attacked by two individuals and a third was on the way,” Moore said, calling the incident “a tragedy.”

Burglary and then shots fired

The Alexandria Police Department was first notified of a suspect with dreadlocks, a white T-shirt, black pants and white sneakers breaking into apartments in the complex at around 7:30 a.m. that Saturday morning.

Police were called at 7:28 a.m. for a report of a burglary at 150 Century Drive, followed by a call for shots fired at 8:53 a.m. and then a final burglary call at 9:10 a.m., according to APD dispatches.

Robert Davis testified that he was asleep on his couch and woke up to a stranger in his apartment. He said that he was confused on whether Rose was a maintenance worker. Davis said that he asked Rose why he was in his apartment and that Rose quickly apologized and left. Davis said he then got dressed and saw that his front doorframe was smashed.

Davis said that he looked outside of his hallway and saw Rose inside a neighboring apartment. He told the court that minutes later he ran into Rose in a hallway and briefly asked him why he was in the building. He said that Rose ran away, after which Davis says he called the police. During that 911 call, which was shared with the court, Davis reported that he saw Rose in the parking lot of the apartment complex checking car doors.

Meanwhile, seven construction workers nearby took a water break from building a retaining wall on the northern end of the property.

Jose Rodolfo, 41, said that he’d been working with Guzman and Hernandez for three months, and that when they took a break Guzman drove a construction vehicle around a corner and up a hill to get a package of bottled water. Moments later he heard a gunshot, and told the jury that he and Hernandez raced to the scene.

Rodolfo testified that he did not see the lead-up to the fight between Rose and Guzman, and only responded after hearing the gunshot. He said that Hernandez reached Rose first and that he witnessed a desperate fight for control of the the handgun between his friend and the suspect. He said that the gun fell to the ground, that Rose stiff-armed Hernandez with his left hand to his chest, picked up the gun with his free right hand and then shot Hernandez point blank in the left clavicle.

Rodolfo said that he was holding a fallen tree branch for defense, but was in shock after the shootings and made no attempt to stop Rose.

“When I got the branch, the man in the white shirt already had the gun and that’s when he shot him (Hernandez), and I just stood there paralyzed,” Rodolfo said through a court-appointed interpreter. “We were all in a state of shock. One of my coworkers called the police.”

APD officer Phillip Morse was responding to the burglary call for service when he told the court that he heard a series of pops. Morse said that APD was then advised of shots fired, and that he got into his cruiser and drove to the location to find Hernandez without a pulse lying face down on top of an embankment and Guzman laboring from a fatal gunshot wound to the head.

Morse then responded with other officers to another 911 call for a burglary at the apartment complex, at 9:10 a.m. After announcing themselves and demanding that anyone inside come out, Morse said that a woman and her young child fled the apartment. A Fairfax County K-9 officer was then let in, and soon after Morse said that the suspect was found stark naked under a bed and screaming after getting bitten by the K-9.

“He was completely naked,” Morse said of Rose.

Martin said that Rose’s pants and underwear were later found “crumbled” in the woman’s apartment, and that APD later found his shoes, a bloodied white T-shirt with the words “Love is for everybody” printed on it, and a .45 caliber Glock with an extended magazine hidden under a balcony behind the building.

Martin said that the Virginia Department of Forensic Science will confirm the clothing and handgun belonged to Rose, and that DNA from the victims was found on his clothing. Additionally, he said that Rose’s hands had evidence of residue from firing a weapon.

Rose is also suspected of breaking into the same apartment complex three weeks before the incident.

Additionally, Rose was set to be tried for weapons and drug charges in Arlington earlier in 2022. Charges were dropped when it was ruled that police conducted an unconstitutional search prior to a 2020 arrest, leading to conflict between the Arlington police union and the office of Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti.

According to ARLnow, Rose has a history of gun charges. In 2019, he was arrested by Metropolitan Police in D.C. and charged with carrying a pistol without a license, possession of an unregistered firearm, and possession of unregistered ammunition. The .45 caliber handgun he was allegedly carrying in the Columbia Heights neighborhood was confiscated, according to MPD.

Below is a recording of Alexandria police radio traffic during the July 16 incident.