homeless men attacked

Virginia Attorney General, Prosecutor Spar Over Criminal History of Suspect in Homeless Attacks

Gerald Brevard III already had a long criminal record before he was arrested this week and accused of shooting five homeless men

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Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares is claiming that Fairfax County’s prosecutor is to blame for an alleged killer's recent deadly crime spree. But the Fairfax County commonwealth's attorney is defending his office and its actions, accusing Miyares of playing politics.

Gerald Brevard III already had a long criminal record that stretched across the D.C. area before he was arrested this week and accused of shooting five men who were homeless, two fatally.

Miyares says those victims might still be alive if Brevard had faced stiffer prosecution and punishment in Fairfax County last year.

"It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize if the prosecutor had gone forward and applied the proper sentence in this situation and not reduced to a misdemeanor, this individual who is a serial killer would not have been back on the street," Miyares said. "He would not have shot 5 people and now two murdered as result of these actions."

Brevard was arrested in Fairfax County in Decemeber 2020 and charged with three felonies: abduction and attempt to defile for attacking a hotel housekeeper, and burglary for breaking into a Herndon apartment. In March, he pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors and served just a few months of an 11-month sentence.

But Commonwealth's Attorney Steve Descano is defending the way the case was prosecuted, saying there were challenges with limited evidence that led to the plea deal.

"We did not have a positive ID … we did not have video … we did not have any type of fingerprint evidence," Descano said.

Police arrested Gerald Brevard III at a Southeast D.C. gas station. News4's Mark Segraves reports.

Descano accused Miyares of disregarding legal standards and attacking him to score political points.

"I think that talk coming from the attorney general is really shameful and speaks poorly of him as public servant," Descano said. "As somebody who should know how prosecution works, he should be familiar with the fact that prosecutors every single day in every jurisdiction have to do what they can with the evidence presented."

The two men went at it in social media posts Wednesday, with Mirayes, a Republican, flatly concluding “these murder should have been prevented." Descano, a Democrat, fired back, calling Miyares' words “uninformed scaremongering.”

Miyares says that Descano, who was elected pushing for criminal justice reform, should consider stepping aside.

"I’m happy to do his job if he won’t do it," said Miyares, who worked as a prosecutor in Virginia Beach before his political career began.

But Descano says he’s staying put, committed to improving public safety.

"Jason Miyares apparently wants to ignore the law and prosecute in a way that ignores the duties of a real prosecutor," Descano said, "and we will not let that happen in Fairfax County."

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