A Maryland man awaiting trial in Arlington, Virginia, for the death of his lover’s ex-boyfriend was found dead in his jail cell Monday morning.
The Arlington County Sheriff’s Office said Jitesh Patel, 43, was discovered unconscious in his cell at the Arlington County jail. Nurses and medics tried to resuscitate him but were unable to.
He was pronounced dead just after 6 a.m.
Patel, who was from Woodbine, was a suspect in the death of John Giandoni, and was scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 2.
Patel was accused of shooting and stabbing Giandoni in the victim’s home in the Ballston area of Arlington on March 16, 2018.
At an evidence hearing last year, the motive for the the killing was unclear, but prosecutors did believe Patel was having an affair with Giandoni’s ex-girlfriend.
Giandoni’s sister testified her brother was also the father of the woman’s child and the two had been involved in a custody battle. It is unclear if Giandoni’s killing and the custody dispute are related.
Prosecutors said evidence included text messages that included sexual innuendo. In addition, prosecutors claimed a surveillance video placed Patel at Giandoni’s home on the day he was killed.
The defense claimed the video was too grainy to identify the person in the video as Patel. They also said the text messages only proved Patel was having an affair with the woman.
Detectives said their evidence included a ballistics match between the two bullet casings found in Giandoni’s body and a gun found in Patel’s home.
Patel’s family learned of his death Monday afternoon. Police are investigating the death, and his body was sent to the medical examiner’s office to determine the exact cause of death.
Anyone with information about Patel’s death should call Arlington County police at 703-228-4243.