The Virginia Supreme Court ruled Friday that Alfredo R. Prieto, convicted of killing a man and woman outside Reston in 1988, should be executed, affirming a Fairfax County jury and judge who imposed two death sentences in 2010.
Prieto, 45, was convicted of fatally shooting Warren Fulton III, 22, and then fatally shooting and raping Rachael Raver, 22, in a vacant lot near Hunter Mill Road in December 1988. Prieto also faces a death sentence in California for a 1990 rape and murder there, but Fairfax prosecutors extradited him because they felt he could be prosecuted and executed before California’s extended appeals process was concluded.
The opinion written by Justice LeRoy F. Millette Jr. rejected nine major claims of error by the defense in the sentencing proceeding, conducted separately by Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Randy I. Bellows.
Prieto's first trial in Fairfax, in 2007, ended in a mistrial. His second, in 2008, ended in a conviction and death sentence. But the Virginia Supreme Court in 2009 ordered that the sentencing process be repeated because the jury's verdict form wasn't complete.
A new jury heard testimony and evidence solely for the purpose of deciding whether to sentence Prieto to life in prison or death, and selected death for both killings.
Prieto’s case now enters the federal court system for further review.