• World - North America
  • Updated: January 31, 2024

Virginia man gets 100-year sentence for murdering co-worker over lunch

Virginia man gets 100-year sentence for murdering co-worker

A man named Bazn Berhe, 25, on Wednesday received a 100-year sentence with 30 years suspended for the murder of his co-worker, Hernan Leiva, 58, at a Target store in Bailey’s Crossroads.

The incident, which occurred on April 17, 2021, stemmed from Berhe's anger over Leiva stealing his lunch from the office refrigerator three days earlier.

Berhe meticulously planned the murder after discovering his lunch missing. He purchased weapons, including a hammer and two knives, and spent a day preparing for the crime.

On the morning of April 17, Berhe waited for Leiva in the employee parking lot, where he brutally attacked and killed him before fleeing the scene.

Berhe's immediate confession and guilty plea in October 2023 to first-degree murder solidified the case against him.

During his sentencing hearing, prosecutors highlighted Berhe's threats to harm others if not given the maximum penalty.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano emphasized the impact of Leiva's death on his family and the community.

He stressed the importance of the sentence in ensuring public safety, citing Berhe's declared danger to society.

“Mr. Leiva’s unnecessary and tragic death leaves behind a grieving family and community, one that will never be the same after such a senseless act of violence," Attorney Steve Descano said.

“In this case, because of the unique and self-proclaimed danger the defendant continues to pose to the community, today’s sentence was a necessary outcome for maintaining public safety."

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