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Three suspects are accused of working together to murder a teenage girl in Virginia in order to prevent her from testifying against one of the brothers of the trio of alleged killers.
The body of 17-year-old Asia Cowell of Norfolk, Virginia was discovered near a woodline in Newport News, Virginia on Sept. 23, local police said in a press release. Cowell had been reported missing since Sept. 7.
The teen had accused a man of both sodomizing and trying to rape her in May, and she was set to testify against the unnamed man in a pending court case, local outlet Daily Press reports. A criminal complaint obtained by the outlet indicates that police believe she was killed in order to prevent such testimony.
As she was no longer alive to testify, the case against the accused man was dropped a week after Cowell’s murder.
Police arrested Crystal Ashley Rudy Albritton, 30, and an unnamed 18-year-old girl in connection with the homicide. The 18-year-old was 17 years old at the time of the killing, so police are not releasing her identity. She is the sister of the man that Cowell had accused. Both women have been charged with murder in the first degree, abruption by force, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and conspiracy to commit a felony.
By Thursday, police had also arrested 38-year-old Devin Aris Albritton and charged him with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit a felony.
The criminal complaint alleges that Albritton and the unnamed teenage girl “conspired to eliminate Asia Cowell to prevent her from testifying in the upcoming rape case,” according to the Daily Press.
The complaint alleges that the two lured Cowell to a home by hiring her for some hair braiding work. Instead, they allegedly forced her into a car and drove her at gunpoint to Newport News.
Crystal Albritton is accused of pulling the trigger in the murder and Devin Albritton allegedly said he helped dispose of some of the evidence.
It’s unclear if any of the three suspects have lawyers.
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