Jury convicts Virginia man for 2018 murders of Aldie woman, son

Tomey Court home where 2018 murders occurred
FILE — Mala and Rishi Manwani were killed in their Tomey Court home, in Aldie, Virginia, in January 2018. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein, file)

In its third day of deliberation, a Loudoun County jury convicted Brian K. Welsh on Tuesday in the 2018 murders of Mala and Rishi Manwani, who were each shot several times in their Aldie, Virginia, home.

After a 16-day trial, Welsh was found guilty on two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of using a firearm while committing a felony. Each murder conviction carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. Each gun conviction carries a minimum of five years behind bars.

The trial’s sentencing phase is set for Tuesday afternoon.

Prosecutors said during the trial that Welsh killed the two in an effort to steal $3,000 from Rishi Manwani, who had been dealing drugs from the Aldie home he shared with his mother.

“We know that even with this conviction, there is no curing the heartbreak and trauma they have experienced and continue to endure,” said Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj in a statement. “This case is a tragedy on every level.”

During trial, defense lawyer Thomas Walsh had argued prosecutors never proved the bullets recovered from the victims were from Welsh’s gun. Prosecutors argued he changed the barrel after the shooting.

“A Virginia Department of Forensic [Science] scientist testified the tool marks from the firearm’s firing pin and extractor forensically matched shell casings recovered by [county sheriff’s office investigators] inside the Manwanis’ home,” Biberaj said.

The victims were found murdered inside their home on Tomey Court on Jan. 31, 2018. Loudoun County sheriff’s deputies were called to the home after authorities were notified by the mother’s co-worker that she hadn’t come to work that week.

In trial, prosecutors said Welsh owed Rishi Manwani money for earlier drug transactions, and killed him amid ongoing financial troubles.

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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