Dawit Seyoum will be transferred to the custody of the Commissioner of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services for evaluation.

By Chris Teale |

Dawit Seyoum, who murdered D.C. corrections official Carolyn Cross in an Alexandria apartment building was found not guilty by reason of insanity after two inconclusive jury trials.

In both trials, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict as to whether Seyoum was criminally responsible for Cross’ murder or whether he should be found not guilty by reason of insanity. Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Cathryn F. Evans and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Andrew S. Criado, who prosecuted the case, agreed to the plea after a total of 10 days deliberation by the juries.

Seyoum will be transferred to the custody of the Commissioner of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services for evaluation. Seyoum will be held in a secure mental health facility during the evaluation process, and his status will be reviewed at a hearing on February 11, 2016.

The 29-year-old killed Cross on September 7, 2014 by striking her on the head 15 times with a large wrench and then strangling her at the Seminary Towers apartment complex on Kenmore Avenue. Cross was found by her daughter, Clarissa Davis.

Seyoum returned to his apartment and was discovered by officers lying in the fetal position wearing just his underwear having attempted suicide. He confessed immediately to the crime.

“My thoughts are with the victim and the victim’s family as this case is brought to a conclusion,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter in a statement. “Ms. Cross was senselessly attacked by a stranger with significant mental health issues. She is sorely missed by those that loved her, and I regret that we were unable to secure a conviction in this matter.

“I appreciate the hard work of the police and prosecutors assigned to the case, and of both juries who heard the matter. The fact that both juries were unable to reach a unanimous verdict shows the complex nature of the evidence.  In the end, I am confident that this outcome will serve the community by providing Mr. Seyoum the intensive mental health treatment he needs.”

Source: Alexandria Times
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One Response

  1. Wendy Short

    This …. I cannot even call him a man, Evil useless individual got away with murder.. murder of a mother, a daughter, a sister, a devoted friend to many , an upstanding citizen. The full details of this case were not fully disclosed to the public. How can you use mental illness as an EXCUSE , specifically in this case when this animal plotted for weeks……. for weeks buying what he needed to carry out his plan to attack,rape and murder Ms.Cross? Does that sound like an individual who should not be held accountable? DAWIT SEYOUM Watched her every move and planned when he could carry out his intent to kill her. He broke into her home and hid himself, waiting for her return. He viciously attacked her , hitting her more than 15 times, in the head with a wrench. He smothered her with plastic over her head and as if that wasn’t enough , he strangled her. His plan was to rape her but he was interrupted by knocks at the door and the phone ringing because her daughter was trying desperately to get in touch with her. He waited until the coast was clear and left the apartment. He had enough sense to get rid of his bloody clothing . If you are rational enough to premeditate how you are going to attack , rape and murder an individual you CANNOT AND SHOULD NOT be able to hide from justice. He needs to be held accountable for his actions. Not doing so is an outward act of disrespect for this woman’s life, her family and so many others left to grieve her loss .
    I have worked in psychiatric facilities, I’ve seen individuals , malingerers such as this one, who pretend to be mentally ill with fictitious symptoms of schizophrenia to avoid what they truly deserve. These individuals live in dorms as if they’re college freshman’s . They are given points to go to the commissary and buy snacks, candy whatever there hearts desire. They go outside and enjoy the fresh air, recreation , exercising, interacting with other malingerers , play board games watch movies and videos. They are allowed to use the phone whenever they choose, sleep when the choose eat when they choose. They have visits from their family members who bring them gifts . They even have talent shows and special event nights within the facilities, especially during holidays. What about the victims ? All the while the murder victim’s families and friends are struggling with the question why and attempting to put the pieces of their lives back together without there loved one. This fool has been in a psychiatric facility for only a few years . 3 mere years. He is now looking at the possibility of being released. Is this justice for taking a life senselessly?
    There are countless numbers of cases of others like him , who have deceived forensic psychiatrists for years on end to avoid doing real time in a prison. Malingering schizophrenia’ is what it is called. Obviously it’s easier to master then you think. Why is it that he does not deserve to go to PRISON? Prisons offer psychiatric assistance to inmates without all the luxuries and amenities that this animal is receiving while faking his way out of serving the time he deserves in a prison. Also let’s think for a moment, if this individual is actually mentally ill to the degree that he would commit pre- meditated murder, why would we want him back on the streets? Whose going to babysit him to make sure he is accounted for? Who is going to make sure he is Taking his medication? Why is he given the opportunity to repeat what he’s already done? Should he be allowed to take another life because he fell through the cracks of the system? Because that is exactly what’s going to happen.
    His family has more rights then the victims family. He was moved to a said closer psychiatric facility because where he was initially located was an INCONVIENCE for his family to travel in order to visit him. So sorry, not sorry. Why does he deserve sympathy? I’ve seen people do MANY YEARS on end for petty drug possession charges, yet this animal , hides cowardly behind a lie . Lee Boyd Malvo was a kid , who was convinced by a devil that he viewed as a father figure, to assist him in murdering . Would you not think a kid under such duress would be considered mentally ill as well ? Of course. However, it was agreed that it was appropriate that Malvo be incarcerated in a maximum security prison serving multiple life sentences for what he did and I also feel, as countless others , that DAWIT SEYOUM should also be serving a life sentence in a maximum security prison for the life he stole when he MURDERED Carolyn Cross.


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