A suspected rapist who was freed from jail in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak allegedly shot and killed the woman who had accused him of sexually assaulting her.
Ibrahim E. Bouaichi was indicted on rape, strangulation, and abduction charges in 2019. His accuser, Karla Dominguez, testified in court about the alleged attack in December, according to the Washington Post. He was subsequently jailed without bond — that is, until the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic struck the country.
On July 29, Bouaichi allegedly traveled to Alexandria, Virginia and gunned down Dominguez at her apartment.
Authorities, who were unable to locate Bouaichi in the shooting’s immediate aftermath, initially said he was “armed and dangerous.” Bouaichi was then arrested on Wednesday by federal marshals and local police in Prince George’s County after crashing his vehicle. By the time law enforcement reached him, he had allegedly shot himself.
He was transferred to a hospital and reported as being in serious condition late last week.
Bouaichi’s criminal defense lawyers, Manuel Leiva and Frank Salvato, described the incident as a “tragedy,” noting they had been “looking forward to trial.”
“[We’re] certainly saddened by the tragedy both families have suffered here,” the attorneys said, according to the Associated Press. “Unfortunately the pandemic continued the trial date by several months and we didn’t get the chance to put forth our case.”
Bouaichi’s lawyers, against the objections of prosecutors, secured his release pending trial, as the virus ravaged prison populations countrywide. The 33-year-old was freed on a $25,000 bond on April 9, the Post reported.
“Social distancing and proper disinfecting measures are impossible while incarcerated,” Leiva and Salvato wrote in a motion. “Simply put, the risk of contracting COVID-19 in a jail is exceedingly obvious.”
Leiva and Salvato also highlighted that meeting with Bouaichi while he was jailed would “expose” them to “contaminated air and surfaces.”
Circuit Court Judge Nolan Dawkins later granted Bouachi’s release. He was ordered to house arrest and was only permitted to leave his Maryland home for legal consultations or for pretrial services related to his case.
However, roughly a month later, Bouaichi was arrested at a Wendy’s drive-thru in Maryland after he allegedly drove into a squad car, according to the Greenbelt Police Department. Authorities were initially dispatched to the fast food restaurant after getting reports a robbery was in progress.
“It wasn’t a robbery,” police spokesperson George Mathews told Oxygen.com.
Instead, local police arrived to find Bouaichi allegedly acting in an incoherent manner.
“The employee was rattled by the suspect who was [in] the drive-thru line and started acting in a total bizarre manner, ordering items that weren’t on the menu, that kind of thing,” Matthews explained.
Bouaichi appeared to have been intoxicated, he said.
“The officers get on scene, they attempted to make contact with the driver, [he] wouldn’t respond to them and at one point, the suspect in the vehicle rammed one of our officer's vehicles,” Matthews said.
An officer and canine were in the police car at the time of the collision, according to law enforcement.
Bouaichi was “forcibly removed” from his vehicle and was transported to a hospital for a medical episode. He was later jailed on multiple charges, including first-degree assault and driving while intoxicated, authorities said. He was released on May 11, according to online jail records.
Bouaichi also has prior arrests related to trespassing, resisting arrest, and disturbing the public peace, according to additional court documents obtained by Oxygen.com.
His legal team didn’t immediately respond to Oxygen.com’s requests for comment on Monday.
Dominguez is a Venezualan national and didn’t appear to have immediate family in the U.S., the Associated Press reported.
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