Alexandria Man Who Killed Girlfriend, Chased Man Out Second-Story Window, Sentenced to 33 Years

A Virginia man who stabbed his girlfriend to death and chased a friend who tried to intervene out a second-story was sentenced to 33 years in prison.

Melvin John Williams, 23, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and other charges Thursday.

DaSheria Barksdale, 30, died after Williams stabbed her multiple early Sept. 14 in the home in the 900 block of N. Henry Street in North Old Town, where they lived together for two years, Alexandria police said.

Two days earlier, Williams threw Barksdale's kitten out of a window, according to the Alexandria Commonwealth's Attorney's Office. The kitten's leg had to be amputated, and Barksdale ended the relationship and asked Williams to move out of the apartment.

But early the morning of the slaying, Williams was present at a gathering at the home, according to the commonwealth's attorney. About 1 a.m., he followed Barksdale into a second-floor bedroom, and people heard Barksdale start screaming. Several people saw Williams hold her at knifepoint in the bedroom.

Darrell Edwards, who was in the home at the time, tried to intervene but was stabbed several times and escaped through a window.

Safe at Home

Safe at Home is NBC4’s effort to raise awareness about the problem of domestic violence and the solutions being worked on in the D.C. area. We’re breaking the silence to help those in need find hope and a way out. More stories


Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information

Parents weigh in on Virginia's proposed school cellphone ban

How a $78 bill dispute led to a lien on a house

When police arrived after a call about 1:30 a.m., they found Edwards on the ground beneath the second-floor window from which he had jumped.

Williams was barricaded in the bedroom and yelled at police, "I've killed her. Now you'll have to kill me."

Police forced open the door and ordered Williams to drop the knife, but he refused, according to the commonwealth's attorney. Officers used Tasers, but Williams held onto the knife and turned it on himself.

Barksdale was rushed to a hospital and pronounced dead. Edwards required surgery. Williams also was hospitalized for several days.

Williams was well-known in the apartment complex. People who know him said he previously acted violently.

Williams was sentenced to 102 years with all but 33 years suspended provided he pays restitution, follows release with 50 years of good behavior and is under supervised probation for 20 years after release.

For full coverage of domestic violence and how you can get get help, see News4's Safe at Home series.

Here are a few resources:
Virginia Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline: 800-838-8238Maryland Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-634-3577
DC Victim Hotline: 844-443-5732

Contact Us