‘Painful journey’ ends with final conviction in Fairfax Co. double killing

A man who fled the country following a 2016 double killing in Northern Virginia was convicted Thursday in his final trial before he is ultimately sentenced to prison.

A jury found Yohannes Nessibu, 28, guilty of voluntary manslaughter in connection with the killing of Henok Yohannes.

“This was a long and painful journey,” said Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano.

Nessibu was previously convicted of first-degree murder in a separate trial last year for the killing of Kedest Simeneh, which occurred during the same incident.

“After such an arduous process, I’m just hoping that the families can start to feel some closure and see that justice is being done,” Descano said.

According to prosecutors, Nessibu and Simeneh went to buy marijuana from Henok, who was a mutual acquaintance.

Following a dispute over money, Nessibu shot Henok “twice in the back of the head,” fled the scene and then shot Simeneh “later that night.”

Nessibu then fled the country to Ethiopia, where he remained until he was extradited in 2019.

“It took years and a lot of wrangling to get him extradited back to the United States so that he could answer for these killings,” Descano said. “Imagine what it would feel like to lose your loved one and to sit there and wait for justice.”

Nessibu faces life in prison when he is sentenced on June 16.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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