An Alexandria man, who plotted for several days before bludgeoning a co-worker to death, learned his sentence this week.
The murder on the parking lot of the Bailey’s Crossroads Target happened on April 17, 2021, three days after Bazen Berhe got upset with the store’s janitor, claiming the man stole his lunch from the store refrigerator.
A judge sentenced Berhe, 25, of Alexandria, to 100 years in prison for the 2021 murder of Hernan Leiva, 58, of Falls Church.
The judge suspended 30 years years of the sentence, according to Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano. During his sentencing hearing, Berhe threatened to kill or hurt others if he did not receive the harshest sentence.
He had confessed immediately after his arrest and pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in October 2023.
The day after the lunch theft Berhe bought a hammer and two knives as he left his shift at Target. According to Descano, Berhe told detectives he spent April 16 “training for murder.” On Saturday, April 17, he laid in wait for Leiva to arrive at on the store’s parking lot, where he stabbed and bludgeoned him to death.
“Mr. Levia’s unnecessary and tragic death leaves behind a grieving family and community, one that will never be the same after such a senseless act of violence,” Descano said.
“In this case, because of the unique and self-proclaimed danger the defendant continues to pose to the community, today’s sentence was a necessary outcome for maintaining public safety.”
Feature image, stock.adobe.com
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