Teens indicted on lynching charges in connection with killing of Manassas man, officials say

- Officials say five teens have been indicted in connection with the killing of a Manassas man that happened over the summer. Police say 24-year-old Reynaldo Eliazar Araujo was shot multiple times by the suspects.

During a grand jury hearing on Monday, 18-year-old Terrance Tyrese Martin, 19-year-old Ebelin Jojana Lopez, 19-year-old Seni Jimenez Blanco and two 17-year-old boys were indicted on multiple charges each, including lynching.

According to a press release from Manassas City Police Department spokesperson Sarah Maroney, lynching is considered second degree murder and is defined as "any act of violence by a mob upon the body of any person, which shall result in the death of such person."

According to police, the teens went to Araujo’s apartment around 2 a.m. to rob him. When officers arrived, they found his apartment door riddled with bullet holes.

Police say Araujo was found with gunshot wounds inside of his apartment on Massie Street on August 30. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

"What we do know is these younger generations are trying to make a name for themselves, so some of the crimes they are committing are very gruesome, are very violent just so they can build their own reputation because that is what gangs are about -- building a reputation of being the baddest gang in the area," said Jay Lanham, Executive Director of the Northern Virginia regional gang task force.

"They have no problem committing the crimes they're committing and the violence that goes along with it and that's scary. That should be scary for anyone," he said.

In addition, one of the juvenile suspects was indicted for murder. Both juveniles will be tried as adults, Maroney said in the release.

Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert said these lynching charges are rare for the area. No date has been set for the teens to return to court.

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