Local News

Man sentenced 100 years for killing co-worker over stolen lunch

A former Target employee was sentenced to 100 years for killing a colleague he said stole his lunch.

Bazen Berhe, 25, admittedly sought vengeance against his 58-year-old co-worker Hernan Leiva after learning the retail store janitor took food belonging to him from a company refrigerator on April 15, 2021, WTOP reported.

The next day, Berhe reportedly purchased a hammer and a pair of knives from Target where he and the victim worked. The defendant said he spent a couple of days “training for the murder,” before stabbing and bludgeoning his colleague in the store’s parking garage in the early morning of April 17, 2021. Levia died on the scene.

Berhe fled the crime scene roughly 10 miles west of the nation’s capital, but immediately confessed to police what he’d done and later pleaded guilty to murder.

Berhe’s harsh sentence came after he reportedly told a Virginia judge he would commit further acts of violence if the court went easy on him. But according to the Washington Post, the Ethiopian defendant promised the court he’d behave in prison. Berhe claimed he was having immigration issues before his lunch was stolen and that had him upset. He didn’t want to leave the U.S.

Berhe’s court appearance also included a bizarre conciliatory offering to the victim’s family for the “gruesome and grotesque” murder he committed.

“I want the family to know, I did everything in my power to kill him in less than a minute,” Berhe said.

He’ll serve 70 years in prison with a suspended sentence of 30 years.

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