A Prince William County jury found a Georgia man guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder and other charges in connection with the murder of an 18-year-old Alexandria man whose body was found in a vacant lot in Nokesville in August 2017.
Police found a body, later identified as Miguel Angel Ruiz Carrillo, 18, of Alexandria, on Aug. 22, 2017, after receiving a tip and subsequently searching a wooded field near the intersection of Nokesville Road and Fauquier Drive. Carrillo was initially reported missing to Fairfax County police earlier that month.
During the police investigation, detectives determined that Hector Armando Gamez Amaya, of McDonough, Georgia, was a suspect in Carrillo’s death. Members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force found and arrested Gamez Amaya without incident in Gwinnett County, Georgia, on Sept. 3, 2017.
Following a trial in Prince William County Circuit Court this week, a jury recommended a life sentence plus 60 years in prison for Gamez Amaya after convicting him on the murder charge as well as abduction, criminal gang participation, conspiracy and concealment of a body, according to a press release from Prince William County Commonwealth’s Attorney Amy Ashworth’s office.
“Our office stands committed to prosecuting violent crime, no matter the circumstance. This trial is an example of our dedication to the pursuit of justice in the community,” Ashworth said in a statement.
Games Amaya was one of seven people initially charged in connection with Carrillo's death. The status of the other suspects' cases was not immediately available.
The commonwealth’s attorney’s special investigations unit prosecuted this case. The unit is one of five Ashworth created “with the goal of combatting crimes that cause the most harm to the citizens of Prince William County,” Ashworth’s statement said.
“The Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney would also like to commend the Prince William County Police Department for its investigation of this case,” Ashworth said in the release.
The trial was one of the first jury trials Ashworth’s office has prosecuted since COVID-19 triggered a Declaration of Judicial Emergency from the Supreme Court of Virginia in March.