Judge Sentences Man in Prince William Arson Double Homicide Case

| February 13, 2019 | 0 Comments | News

Noe Nolasco-Amaya

The man who allegedly committed arson and double homicide on Lomond Drive in Manassas in 2016 stood for sentencing, Feb. 7, 2019, at the Prince William Court House.

Judge Steven Smith sentenced suspect Noe Antonio Nolasco-Amaya for arson in an occupied dwelling18.2-77 and two counts of felony murder §18.2-33 .

The house fire resulted in the death of two persons, Jose Javier Avalos, 17, of Manassas, and William Alexander Molina-Rivas, 36, of Manassas. A third man suffered serious burn injuries. Four dogs also perished in the house fire.

In September, Nolasco-Amaya entered a “Alford Plea.” He did not admit guilt, but accepting there was enough evidence to convict him. In return, he was not charged with homicide.

Feb. 7, Judge Steven Smith sentenced Noe Antonio Nolasco-Amaya to a total of 45 years with 30 suspended and restitution of $167,836.24. Nolasco-Amaya also was directed to pay $5,000 in restitution to the Virginia Crime Victim’s Fund.

Judge Smith confirmed the sentence reached in the plea agreement between the commonwealth attorney and the defense. The case was presented by Senior Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Claiborne Richardson II and Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Ashleigh Sutton.

Noe Nolasco was remanded to the PWC Adult Detention Center (ADC) for detention and processing. He agreed to the plea on Sept. 24, 2018.

“This brazen display of reckless abandon for the law and life of others continues to drive ATF’s mission to fight violent crime,” said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Ashan M. Benedict of the Washington Field Division. “This individual had little to no regard for the safety and welfare of others.”

Setting a new precedent in arson criminal litigation 

The case represents the model for local, regional and federal cooperation and closes one of the most complex arson and homicide investigations in Prince William County history said Kim Hylander spokesperson for Prince William Fire & Rescue.

“The resources provided by the ATF and ATF’s FRL were critical to the case investigation and preparation,” Hylander said.

It was the first time the findings of the ATF Laboratory were allowed to be presented through expert testimony in a Virginia Circuit Court felony trial explained Richardson, who said his office was satisfied with the outcome “which removes a dangerous individual from society,” Richardson said.

Collaboration between various agencies

The investigation was an intense collaborative effort by the Prince William County Fire Marshal’s Office, Prince William County Police Criminal Investigation Division (CID), Stafford County Fire Marshal’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) including ATF’s Fire Research Laboratory (FRL) in Maryland.

Benedict said he is proud of the outstanding investigative work done by his team and the investigators with the Prince William County Fire Marshal’s Office, the Prince William County Police Homicide Unit, and the Stafford County Fire Marshal’s Office K-9 team.

PREVIOUSLY RELEASED 

Guilty Plea in Arson Double Homicide [Previously Released] September 28, 2018

On Sept. 24, 2018, an “Alford Plea” of Guilty was heard and accepted in Prince William Circuit Court in the case of Noe Antonio Nolasco-Amaya (aka Noe Nolasco, Noe Antonio Amaya, Juan Amaya, Mario Amaya).

Charged with:

  • 18.2-77 Arson to an Occupied Dwelling.
  • 2 counts of §18.2-33 Felony Murder.

As part of the plea agreement, the two counts of First Degree Homicide were “nolle prosequi.”  The sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 7, 2019.  This case was the result of an extensive and cooperative investigation involving local, regional, and federal partners to bring this to a conclusion.

Arson, Double Homicide [Previously Released] Wednesday, August 17, 2016

10300 Lomond Drive “Structure Fire” ARSON *ARREST – On Aug. 3., investigators from the Prince William County Fire Marshal’s Office obtained a warrant for the suspect involved in setting a house on fire resulting in the deaths of two occupants and four dogs. The accused, identified as Noe Antonio Nolasco, was arrested and transferred to Prince William/Manassas Regional Adult Detention Center on August 11.

The incident is still under a combined investigation by the Fire Marshal’s Office and the Prince William County Police Homicide Unit with the assistance of the B.A.T.F. Arson and Explosives Unit.

Arrested on August 11:

Noe Antonio Nolasco, 35, of Lomond Drive, Manassas, Virginia.

Charged with Arson to an Occupied Dwelling.

Preliminary Hearing date: September 15, 2016. | Bond: No Bond Status.

Double Homicide Investigation *SECOND VICTIM IDENTIFIED [Previously Released] – On August 3, detectives from the Homicide Unit received confirmation regarding the identity of the second victim involved in the fatal house fire which occurred at a residence located in the 10300 block of Lomond Drive in Manassas on July 31. The third man who was located nearby suffering from burn injuries is still hospitalized and is expected to survive.

The investigation into this incident and the deaths is continuing.

Identified:

The second victim has been identified as William Alexander Molina-Rivas, 36, of Manassas.

Double Homicide Investigation [Previously Released] – Based upon further investigation into the July 31 deaths of two men from a house fire on Lomond Drive in Manassas, detectives from the Homicide Unit and investigators from the Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating this incident as an arson-related double homicide.

One of the victims has been positively identified as a 17- year old male juvenile of Manassas.

Due to extensive injuries, the identity of the second deceased male victim is pending confirmation through the Medical Examiner’s Office.

The third man located by officers near Manassas Mall has been identified as a 35-year old man of Manassas and is still hospitalized. No arrests have been made at this point in connection to this incident. The deaths related to this investigation are Prince William County’s 14th and 15th homicide for 2016. The investigation continues.

Identified:

One of the victims has been identified as Jose Javier Avalos, 17, of Manassas.

Death Investigation [Previously Released] – On July 31 at 12:24 a.m., officers responded to a residence located in the 10300 block of Lomond Drive in Manassas (20109) to assist the Department of Fire and Rescue with a house fire.

During their checks of the residence, fire crews located two men inside the home.

One of the men was pronounced dead at the scene while the other was flown to an area hospital where he later died as a result of his injuries. Four dogs were also located deceased inside the residence and were turned over to Animal Control.

A short time later, around 1:45 a.m., police received a call about a third man walking in the area of Manassas Mall appearing to be injured. Officers arrived and located the man suffering from extensive burns to his body. This man was transported to an area hospital for treatment of his injuries.

The remains of the two deceased men will be transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office for further analysis and identification. The identity of the deceased men will be released once confirmed and their next of kin has been notified.

This incident is being jointly investigated by the Prince William County Police Homicide Unit and the Department of Fire and Rescue’s Fire Marshal’s Office. More information will be released when available. The investigation continues.

© 2019, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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