A Judge Sentenced A Man To Life In Prison For Sexually Assaulting And Strangling His Neighbor With Down Syndrome
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (TCD) – A judge sentenced a man to three life terms in prison for sexually assaulting and strangling his Down syndrome neighbor to death shortly after she moved into her own apartment.
According to NBC Washington, David Cunningham was sentenced on Thursday, June 1, for the murder of Melia “MJ” Jones, 23. Jones was discovered dead in her flat on Van Dorn Street in Alexandria on December 7, 2021, and her death was ruled a homicide the following day by the medical examiner.
Cunningham was arrested on a charge of second-degree murder by Alexandria Police on January 11, 2022.
The act was described by prosecutors as a “extremely violent murder.”
Jones’ father went to her apartment to check on her and found her dead with her “Hannah Montana” blanket wrapped around her body and a trash bag on her head, according to NBC Washington. She was also said to be wearing a T-shirt knotted around her neck.
Cunningham’s DNA was apparently found in various places around Jones’ flat, including beneath her fingernails and on an aerosol can. Cunningham’s sandals were stained with Jones’ blood.
According to NBC Washington, Cunningham admitted to having sexual contact with Jones on the day she was murdered, but claimed it was consensual. According to reports, the two shared an apartment complex. Jones, according to WFTV-TV, had gotten her own apartment and was living alone not long before her death.
Jones previously worked at the Crystal City Marriott Hotel, where she was named Employee of the Month twice. Then, as a customer service representative at Ronald Reagan Airport, she received the Perfect Attendance Award and Employee of the Month for Accomplishments and Exceeding Expectation, as well as the Perfect Attendance Award again when she was a kiosk stocker.
Cunningham is allegedly planning to file an appeal.