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Alexandria man gets 33 years for murder, animal cruelty, malicious wounding

WASHINGTON — A man will serve 33 years in jail for the fatal stabbing of a woman in Alexandria, Virginia.

Melvin John Williams, 23, of Alexandria pleaded guilty Thursday to the Sept. 14 murder of DaSheria Barksdale.

Melvin John Williams pleads guilty to the murder of DaSheria Barksdale in Alexandria. (Courtesy Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney City of Alexandria)

According to a news release, Williams stabbed Barksdale in the second-floor bedroom of a residence on North Henry Street. The two had been in a domestic relationship for about two years.

Two days before the stabbing, Williams recorded videos threatening Barksdale’s kitten. He attacked the animal and broke its leg. Barksdale ended the relationship and asked Williams to move out.

In the early morning of Sept. 14, there was a gathering on the 900 block of North Henry Street, where Barksdale and Williams were both present.

Williams followed Barksdale into an upstairs bedroom, and people heard Barksdale scream shortly after.

Witnesses saw Williams holding Barksdale at knife point. One person entered the bedroom to help Barksdale, but Williams stabbed him multiple times in the groin. The person jumped out of the second-floor window to escape.

When police arrived, Williams had barricaded himself with Barksdale in the room. A news release said that Williams yelled out that he had killed Barksdale and they would now have to kill him.

Police forced the door open and found Williams with a knife and Barksdale on the floor with multiple stab wounds. She died from her injuries.

Williams refused to put down the knife and officers tasered him in an effort to subdue him, but he did not drop the weapon and instead turned it on himself.

After a brief struggle, police took him into custody. Williams was taken to the hospital for his self-inflicted wound.

Williams’ overall sentence is 102 years. He will spend 33 years in jail upon conditions of good behavior, supervised probation and restitution.


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