Franconia resident Yonathan Melaku pleaded guilty as expected Wednesday to shooting at military sites in Northern Virginia, agreeing in the plea to 25 years in prison.
Melaku was arrested on June 17 after being caught in Arlington Cemetery while it was closed. Melaku, a Marine Corps Reservist, pleaded guilty to injuring property of the United States, use of a firearm during a crime of violence, and attempted injury to veterans’ memorials on U.S. property.
Melaku's formal sentencing is scheduled for April 27.
The first shooting was reported on Oct. 17, 2010, at the U.S. Marine Corps Heritage Museum in Triangle. Prince William County police reported then that 10 rounds from a 9mm handgun were fired at the building between 12:30-7:30 a.m. from about two football fields away. The direction of the bullets was from Interstate 95.