On August 9, 2022, Gavin Collins entered a plea of guilty to all charges pending before the court in Loudoun County. The trial began on August 8, 2022. The pleas of guilty occurred on day two of a scheduled three-week trial. After the presentment of several witnesses, Collins plead and was found guilty of the following offenses: First-Degree Murder, Robbery, Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, Use of a Firearm During the Commission of Murder, Use of a Firearm During the Commission of Robbery, Possession of Schedule 1/II Controlled Substance, Possession of Firearm while in Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Firearm by a Violent Convicted Felon. After the court accepted his guilty plea, the jury reconvened and was discharged.
The case was continued for sentencing. A pre-sentence investigation report was ordered. The sentencing hearing has been scheduled for December 1, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. Gavin Collins faces a maximum sentence of two (2) life sentences plus thirty-eight (38) years in prison for the murder of Jose Escobar Menendez on July 8, 2020. Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Shaniqua Clark Nelson and Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Matthew J. Sweet presented the case on behalf of the Commonwealth. “We thank the witnesses and law enforcement for their dedication to the prosecution of this case. It is our deepest honor to serve and deliver justice to Jose, his family, and our community.”
“It is most unfortunate that Gavin Collins made the decision to kill Jose Escobar Menendez. This decision stole Jose from his family and our community. Jose will never be able to see another birthday, celebrate Mother’s Day or Father’s Day with his parents, or see his nephews or nieces grow up. It is devastating to know that the most we can do is punish Collins for his actions and that we can never make the family whole. We appreciate the investigation by law enforcement, the cooperation of the witnesses, the support of the family, the service of the jurors, and the commitment of our attorneys and our team members. Together we will continue to deliver safety and justice to Loudoun,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj.
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