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Arlington Man Sentenced to Prison for 2018 Killing in Douglas Park

Gavel (Flickr photo by Joe Gratz)

An Arlington man has been sentenced to decades in prison for killing a man in the Douglas Park neighborhood three years ago.

Michael Nash, 29, is set to spend nearly 35 years behind bars. Five years and one month of the 40 years sentence was suspended. Nash will have five years of supervised probation.

Earlier this summer, Nash pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for killing Arlington resident Patricio Salazar, who had tried to intervene when he found Nash sexually and physically assaulting his then-girlfriend. Other charges, including forcible sodomy and robbery, were dropped as part of the agreement.

“It was the most accurate charge for the most serious conduct, and it had the support of the other victims,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti said.

At a 2019 hearing, Nash’s then-girlfriend told a judge that they argued loudly enough for police to come, but were allowed to leave together after separate interviews, the Washington Post reported. They continued walking and ended up on near Doctor’s Run Park.

That’s when Nash “pushed her to the ground and began beating her, stripping her of her clothing and touching her sexually,” the Post reports.

Salazar tried to stop him, but Nash beat him and knocked him unconscious, police said at the time. Salazar was transported to George Washington University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Nash fled the scene and robbed a woman of her cell phone, police previously said. Officers and a police helicopter eventually apprehended Nash near the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. George Mason Drive.

Salazar’s sister Loty launched a GoFundMe fundraiser to honor her brother’s life and raise money for three organizations that support victims of sexual assault in the U.S. and Bolivia. It brought in more than $30,000. Bradley Flood, a witness, also raised money for the family.

His sister remembered Salazar as “one of the most kindhearted and genuine people I have ever met.”

“And, as he showed by his final act of great courage, he was a man of integrity and character, who believed in doing the right thing no matter what the cost,” she wrote.

Flood wrote that it chills him to think what would have happened if Salazar had not intervened.

“He is a Good Samaritan if there ever was one,” he said.

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