First court appearance for man indicted in killings of Loudoun mother, son

The man indicted this month for the 2018 murders of Mala Manwani and her adult son, Rishi Manwani, made his first appearance in a Loudoun County, Virginia, courtroom by video hookup.

Bryan Kuang-Ming Welsh, 38, who was initially charged with the murders before Loudoun County prosecutors had to drop charges more than a year ago, spoke with Circuit Court Judge Douglas Fleming from the county detention center, wearing an orange-striped jail-issued jumpsuit.

As WTOP first reported, Welsh was indicted on two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of use of a gun in the commission of a felony in the deaths of the Manwanis, whose bodies were discovered in their home on Tomey Court in Aldie, Virginia, on Jan. 31, 2018.

Welsh’s mother and mother-in-law were in the courtroom, with other family members during the brief appearance, and they told the judge they were in the process of retaining attorney Thomas Walsh.

Walsh was representing Welsh on Aug. 23, 2018, when prosecutors dropped the charges, after forensic testing showed bullets recovered from the Manwanis’ bodies didn’t match the barrel of Welsh’s handgun.

Prosecutors have theorized that Welsh’s brother or father modified his handgun after the Manwanis were shot, but have not disclosed whether new forensic evidence or testimony will counteract the earlier damaging gun analysis.

When asked if he had been served with the indictment when he was arrested in Orange County, Virginia, or while behind bars, Welsh told the judge he wasn’t sure.

“I was picked up at my parents’, and I have short-term memory loss, so I can’t remember,” Welsh told Fleming, who eventually determined the proper paperwork had been presented to the defendant.

Before he was indicted, Welsh had told investigators he was using, buying and selling oxycodone provided by Rishi Manwani, and had amassed a large amount of debt.

Prosecutor Sean Morgan told the judge he anticipated the trial will take four to five weeks.

Welsh and his new attorney are due in court on Nov. 4, to set dates for his murder trial.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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