The man accused of killing a woman as she walked a dog in Northwest D.C. Tuesday told police a dark force was speaking to him from his head and things "got out of hand," but he denied stabbing the woman.
Margery Magill, 27, was stabbed multiple times across the street from MedStar Washington Hospital Center on Irving Street NW before 9 p.m. Tuesday, police said. She died on the sidewalk.
A trail of blood led police to 24-year-old suspect Eliyas Aregahegne’s apartment.
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, when police searched his home, they found bloody clothing, a package for an 8-inch knife and a fresh wound on his hand.
While speaking to detectives, Aregahegne allegedly denied stabbing Magill repeatedly, saying things like, "I don't remember stabbing her," and, "I don't think I stabbed her."
A missing person poster for Aregahegne from 2017 said he was in need of medication, and a neighbor told News4 he suffers from mental illness.
Criminal records show several past charges, but the majority were for trespassing and pale in comparison to the first-degree murder while armed charge he faces now.
"If he had a past like some of these reports have said with both mental health problems as well as criminal history, we don’t actually know what that might be, the question is why wasn’t he being watched more closely?" the victim’s sister, Raeann Magill, told News4.
D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said Aregahegne appeared to randomly target Magill and that it was not a robbery or an attempted sexual assault.
There was also nothing to indicate that Aregahegne was under the influence of drugs or alchohol, according to Newsham.
Magill graduated from the University of California, Davis, in 2015. According to her LinkedIn page, she was working in D.C. as a program director at the The Washington Center, a nonprofit organization that helps connect graduate students with internships and jobs.
She also walked dogs for Rover, an online marketplace for people to buy and sell pet services, and was walking someone's dog when she was killed.
“Just a joy,” her father, Jeff Magill, said. “She was just a sweet joy, life-loving person, who I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody say anything about her negative.”
Aregahegne is being held in custody until trial.
The slaying is reminiscent of the random fatal stabbing of Wendy Martinez in Logan Circle last year.
Her family put out a statement saying, “We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Margery Magill in Washington, D.C., and heartbroken for her family and friends. We stand in solidarity with them in this difficult hour.”