A progressive Virginia prosecutor this year dropped charges against a felon with a history of gun charges. Months later, that felon killed two innocent men.
In July, Francis Rose shot two "innocent bystanders" in the head while robbing an apartment complex in Alexandria, Va., according to police. In February, he was freed from jail by the office of Arlington County commonwealth’s attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti (D.). Rose, who was already on probation for illegally carrying a weapon in Washington, D.C., was arrested in October 2020 for possession of a firearm and possession of cocaine and fentanyl with intent to distribute.
The double murder is the latest instance where soft-on-crime Virginia prosecutors enabled violent felons. Dehghani-Tafti’s ally Steve Descano (D.), Fairfax County’s top prosecutor, released three offenders with gun charges who each went on to murder. Both prosecutors’ campaigns received over $600,000 from the Democratic megadonor George Soros. Like Soros-backed prosecutors across the country, Dehghani-Tafti and Descano have abolished cash bail and pushed for decarceration.
"What happened in Alexandria was senseless and tragic," Virginia attorney general Jason Miyares told the Washington Free Beacon. "Unfortunately, it continues to be true that the vast majority of violent crime is committed by the same repeat offenders."
Police announced the double homicide of Adrian de Jesus Rivera Guzman and his step-son, Juan Carlos Anaya Hernandez, on Tuesday. Rose’s victims were landscape workers who had escaped gang-led violence in their native El Salvador.
Arlington police arrested Rose during a traffic stop in 2020 after finding a loaded handgun, cocaine, and fentanyl on him. In February, a county judge ruled the search unconstitutional. The evidence was not legally admissible because the drugs and gun were "appended" to Rose rather than in the car, his defense attorney argued, according to the Washington Post. Dehghani-Tafti’s office dropped the charges following the judge’s ruling and criticized the arresting officers’ conduct.
But before the ruling, a prosecutor in Dehghani-Tafti’s office praised the officers’ conduct, according to the Arlington Coalition of Police. Her office held Rose in jail without bond for more than a year before his trial, the law enforcement group said, implying prosecutors believed the officers had acted lawfully.
Rose will appear in court on Oct. 28. He faces up to 40 years in prison for each count of second-degree murder. Juan Hernandez’s wife told the Post she hopes he will stay behind bars this time.
"I know that if he’s in prison, my son and husband, they won’t come back," Laura Hernandez said. "But this man can’t get out. He can’t get out."
Update 7:05 p.m.: This piece was updated to include comment from Virginia attorney general Jason Miyares.