Arlington County Jury Recommends 36 Year Sentence for Man Found Guilt

Published on July 30, 2018

ARLINGTON, Va. — On July 26, 2018, an Arlington County Circuit Court jury found Heber Amaya-Gallo, 29, of Arlington, Va. guilty of 2nd Degree Murder for the 2017 homicide of Michael Wiggins. Following the guilty finding, the members of the jury recommended a 36-year sentence. Formal sentencing by Judge Louise M. DiMatteo is scheduled for a later date.

Just after 2:00 p.m. on January 30, 2017, Arlington County Police officers were dispatched to the 5100 block of 7th Road S. for a death investigation. Arriving officers located 55-year-old Michael Wiggins of Arlington, Va. deceased inside the residence. The investigation later revealed that a verbal altercation between roommates became physical, resulting in the death of the victim from neck compression. Three subjects were located on scene and transported to police headquarters, where they were interviewed by detectives. Amaya-Gallo was subsequently arrested and charged with first degree murder. The other two subjects were determined to be witnesses to the incident.

"The jury's verdict and sentence of 36 years in prison reflects this community's abiding belief that crimes of violence against vulnerable victims will not be tolerated. The defendant's actions in choking to death a person who provided him with a home, food and friendship were cruel and heartless. We thank the jury for giving this case the attention and seriousness it deserved," said Commonwealth's Attorney Theo Stamos.

Arlington County Deputy Chief Daniel J. Murray, Commander of the Criminal Investigations Division said, "This sentence is indicative of the relentless work of the Homicide Robbery Unit and the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office to hold violent criminals accountable. Although nothing can return Mr. Wiggins to our community, we hope that this sentence offers solace and closure to all who knew Mr. Wiggins. Our community is safer with this violent criminal behind bars."

This case was investigated by Homicide/Robbery Unit Detective S. Roeseler and prosecuted by Assistant Commonwealth's Attorneys Joshua Katcher and Robert Strange and Victim Specialist Lydia Hatcher.