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WASHINGTON — A Fairfax County jury returned the first conviction in the killing of a teenage girl on Tuesday against an MS-13 gang member.
Investigators have charged ten people in the killing of 15-year-old Damaris Reyes Rivas. Now 21-year-old Wilmer Sanchez-Serrano of Virginia is facing the possibility of a 60-year sentence.
Sanchez-Serrano pleaded not guilty to taking part in the MS-13 gang killing of Reyes-Rivas in February.
Cell phone video of the murder in a Springfield, Virginia industrial park shows Sanchez-Serrano walking up to the still-breathing teen and stabbing her in the neck with a stake, Fairfax County State’s Attorney Ray Morrough said.
Morrough said the trial was emotional.
Rivas’s mother lamented over her decision not to take a picture of her daughter in her quinceañera dress, which she never got to wear in celebration. Instead, the teenager was buried in it.
“There wasn’t a dry eye in the house,” Morrough said.
After hearing testimony and seeing the video, the jury returned a guilty verdict on charges of second-degree murder and gang participation.
Sanchez-Serrano is one of five people going to trial in her murder. He has an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer held on him, but won’t be deported until after he has served prison time.
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