During a Sept. 16 preliminary hearing, a Metropolitan Police Department detective told a DC Superior Court judge that a murder defendant said he heard “dark forces” speaking to him the night a dog walker was attacked.
Eliyas Aregahegne, 24, is charged with second-degree murder while armed for allegedly stabbing Margery Magill, 27, on the 400 block of Irving Street, NW on Aug. 27. Magill was stabbed multiple times in the neck, back, and shoulder while walking a dog. The murder has attracted international attention in the media.
Police brought Aregahegne in for questioning the night of the incident. He told detectives that there were “dark forces” speaking to him inside his head.The detective said the defendant kept giving different answers when asked if he had seen the victim that night.
The detective said there were no witnesses who saw the incident occur, no one saw Aregahegne on Irving Street, and no one saw Aregahegne at all on the night in question. The detective also said there was no evidence that connected the defendant to the crime.
Defense counsel David Knight submitted a video taken from a home security camera as evidence. The video showed the victim walking eastbound followed by a black man in a white shirt walking towards the victim. The man is then seen running away from the scene soon after the stabbing.
According to the prosecution, while the man is running in the video, the victim can be heard screaming, “no, no, no!”
According to court documents, around midnight MPD followed a blood trail from the scene of the crime to Aregahegne’s father’s home.
Apparently, the defendant had been living with his father for two weeks prior to the murder.
Police searched the house and found an open kitchen knife package on the floor with the defendants finger prints on it, documents state. Police also found a white shirt covered in blood.
The defense said the evidence the prosecution presented was not convincing. Knight said “[Areghedne] is a black male with a white shirt. Like every black male who lives and works in Washington D.C.”
DC Superior Court Judge Ronna Beck ruled there was probable cause for the case to proceed forward. She said “it is a circumstantial case, but I have no problem finding probable cause.”
Judge Beck denied the defense’s request for release under the high intensity supervision program. She said she was concerned with the community’s safety due to the “brutal” nature of the crime, the history of mental illness the defendant has and the defendant’s prior violation of probation.
Aregahegne is being held without bail.
Aregahegne’s next status hearing is scheduled on Dec. 13.