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Posted at 5:25 PM ET, 02/ 9/2011

Teen pleads guilty in Va. fatal beating

By Caitlin Gibson

A 19-year-old Loudoun County man pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Wednesday in the March 2009 beating death of a man taking an early morning walk with his wife in Lansdowne.

Jaime Ayala also pleaded guilty to aggravated malicious wounding in the brutal assault on the man's wife. A sentencing hearing was scheduled for Aug. 24.

Ayala faces a possible sentence of five to 40 years in prison for the murder charge, as well as 20 years to life in prison for the malicious wounding charge, for a maximum possible sentence of life plus 40 years. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the prosecution can re-file all charges against Ayala if he does not provide cooperation and testimony in the investigation and prosecution of the two other suspects believed to be involved with the crime.

A Loudoun grand jury indicted Ayala in August 2009 in the killing of William Bennett, 57, and the wounding of Cynthia Bennett, 55, who was severely injured and hospitalized for months following the assault.

The attack on the Bennetts as they took an early Sunday walk on Riverside Parkway sent chills through their upscale Loudoun community. Both were severely beaten, and Cynthia Bennett was critically injured and hospitalized for more than two months.

Ayala reportedly told police that he was the driver for two other men, Darwin G. Bowman, 20, of Annandale and Anthony R. Roberts, 22, of Middleburg, whom he claimed were responsible for the attack. Bowman has been charged with capital murder and is scheduled to go to trial in July. Roberts has not been charged in the Bennetts' case but was sentenced to seven years in prison in December 2009 for burglarizing a gun store in Leesburg.

Ayala was not charged with capital murder because he was a juvenile at the time of the attack.

By Caitlin Gibson  | February 9, 2011; 5:25 PM ET
Categories:  From the Courthouse, Homicide, Loudoun  
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We need to do something about these black on white crimes, the are really getting out of hand...

Posted by: mark0004 | February 9, 2011 9:58 PM | Report abuse

We need to do something about these black on white crimes, the are really getting out of hand...

Posted by: mark0004 | February 9, 2011 9:58 PM | Report abuse

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