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Man who fled to Ethiopia after Va. pair’s killing gets another conviction

Yohannes Nessibu faced two trials for the 2016 killings of Henok Yohannes and Kedest Simeneh

Henok Yohannes, 22, was killed in Burke, Va., in December 2016. (N/A/Family photo)
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A 28-year-old man who fled to Ethiopia after the killing of a young couple in Virginia was convicted for a second time in connection with the December 2016 deaths, authorities announced Thursday.

Yohannes Nessibu was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and use of a firearm in commission of a felony in the shooting of 22-year-old Henok Yohannes. He had previously been convicted of first-degree murder in the killing of 22-year-old Kedest Simeneh.

Family members of the victims had said previously that they were told by detectives Nessibu had gone with a group to Yohannes’s home to purchase drugs, but the deal went awry, and Nessibu shot him. Nessibu then forced the people to drive to a Burke neighborhood where Simeneh was found shot, family members have said.

After the killings, Nessibu fled to Ethiopia.

He was arrested and brought to the United States in 2019, which a spokeswoman for the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington said was possible because he was a U.S. citizen.

Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano (D) said in an interview that he and his team spoke with Yohannes’s family after the verdict was read and that he hoped that the verdict puts the family on the path to healing.

“I do hope this gives them a sense of closure, especially after such a long wait,” Descano said. “Mr. Nessibu faces life in prison, and they feel comfortable that justice has been done.”

Descano said that Nessibu’s sentencing for both convictions will take place on June 16.