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Virginia au pair, 23, is charged with murder over bizarre incident which saw her ‘shoot man, 39, dead after he killed married mom at $1M’ mansion


  • Juliana Peres Magalhaes has been charged in the shooting of Joseph Ryan, 39
  • A mother was found with stab wounds at the same address and later died
  • Police are still investigating who stabbed the woman but it was allegedly the man who Peres Magalhaes is accused of shooting

A 23-year-old au pair has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with a double homicide at a $1million home in Virginia, authorities announced on Thursday. 

Juliana Peres Magalhaes, from Reston, Virginia, was arrested on Friday and has been charged in the shooting of Joseph Ryan, 39, of Springfield.

Both Ryan and a woman, Christine Banfield, 37, were attacked and killed on February 24 at Banfield’s $1million home in the Herndon area.

Police reportedly believe that Peres Magalhaes shot Ryan, who has been accused of stabbing Banfield to death. Peres Magalhaes has not been charged in Banfield’s death.

Further details of the bizarre crime have not been shared. No motive has been given, and cops said Ryan was likely not a stranger to Christine Banfield, but refused to comment further.  

Juliana Peres Magalhaes, from Reston, Virginia has been charged in the shooting of Joseph Ryan, 39, of Springfield

Juliana Peres Magalhaes, from Reston, Virginia has been charged in the shooting of Joseph Ryan, 39, of Springfield

On the day of the killings in February, around 7.50 am, police received a call from Peres Magalhaes, but then she immediately hung up. 

Ten minutes later, she rang back to tell them her ‘friend’ was hurt.

Both Ryan and a woman, Christine Banfield (pictured), 37, were attacked and killed on February 24 at Banfield's $1million home in the Herndon area

Both Ryan and a woman, Christine Banfield (pictured), 37, were attacked and killed on February 24 at Banfield’s $1million home in the Herndon area

At that moment Banfield’s husband, identified in court papers seen by Fox News as Brendan Robert Banfield, also came onto the phone. 

Brendan Banfield reportedly told a dispatcher that he had shot Ryan, who he said had barged into his home and stabbed his wife, Christine Banfield.

Police arrived at the residence at 8.13am to find Ryan dead and Christine Banfield, who had been stabbed, in an upstairs bedroom.

She was taken to hospital, but later died. 

Police have not confirmed if Ryan did stab Banfield, but they reportedly said there was no sign of forced entry to the house. 

Police also found Banfield’s 4-year-old daughter at the home, who was physically unharmed.

‘The truest victim of all of this is that poor girl,’ Fairfax Police Chief Kevin Davis told Fox News at the time.

Speaking in February, Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said: ‘I think the person or persons responsible for this are already known to us. 

The $1million Virginia home where a man died and a woman was stabbed in February

The $1million Virginia home where a man died and a woman was stabbed in February

‘We just have to sort out who was responsible for what, we have to sort out the exact nature of Mr. Ryan’s presence inside the house.’

He added: ‘We don’t think he is necessarily a stranger but we’re still working to determine more facts before we describe him.’

Chief Davis did not know if Ryan had been to the home before, he reportedly added that the au pair had been speaking with police, but Banfield had not.

Peres Magalhaes is at the Fairfax County jail. Online court records seen by Fox News show she had not yet entered a plea to the second-degree murder charge. 



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