- Associated Press - Thursday, December 3, 2015

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - A judge has accepted an insanity plea from an Alexandria man who had been charged with the murder of a high-ranking corrections official in the District of Columbia.

Dawit Seyoum (dah-WEET’ say-OOM’) pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity Thursday to the September 2014 slaying of Carolyn Cross at an Alexandria apartment complex.

Prosecutors pursued murder charges against Seyoum, but two previous attempts ended in mistrials when juries failed to reach a unanimous verdict. Seyoum’s lawyers presented an insanity defense.

In a press release, Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter said he agreed to support the insanity plea given the outcome at the two previous trials, which involved a combined 10 days of deliberations.

Prosecutors say Seyoum will now be sent to a secure mental health facility for evaluation and treatment.

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