FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (DC News Now) — A judge said an au pair charged in the murder of a man in Reston will remain in custody after her lawyer and prosecutors presented different versions of the adult relationships and activities that were to have taken place inside a family’s home.
The judge said Friday that risk of flight for Juliana Peres Magalhaes, 23, of Reston was too great to grant her bond.
Magalhaes was an au pair who worked in the home of Christine Banfield, 37, and her husband in the 13200 block of Stable Brook Way. Fairfax County police went to the house on Feb. 24 and found Joseph Ryan, 39, of Springfield who had been shot to death. Banfield, who had been stabbed, died at the hospital.
More than seven months after the deaths, officers arrested Magalhaes for Ryan’s killing.
Friday, during her bond hearing, Magalhaes’ lawyer told the judge that Banfield had gotten Magalhaes tickets to take Banfield’s 4-year-old child to the zoo. The lawyer claimed that Banfield made plans for Ryan to meet her at the home for sex, stating that the two met on some sort of website.
Magalhaes said she forgot the child’s lunch and went back to the house to get it. When she did, she said she way Ryan pull up and go into the house. Magalhaes said she called Banfield’s husband who told her to wait and he would come home.
Magalhaes’ lawyer said Magalhaes went into the house with Banfield’s husband and took the 4-year-old child to the basement. She supposedly dialed 911 at that point but didn’t know what to say to the emergency dispatcher, so she hung up. The lawyer said Magalhaes left the basement and that she and Banfield’s husband heard some sort of interaction involving Banfield and Ryan above them. They weren’t sure if it was consensual or not. Magalhaes said Banfield’s husband, who is a special agent for the IRS, pulled out his service weapon and went into the bedroom where he saw Ryan with a knife to Banfield’s throat.
Magalhaes’ lawyer said Banfield’s husband told Ryan to drop the knife and that Ryan, in turn, told Banfield’s husband to drop his gun. Ryan supposedly stabbed Banfield several times in her neck. Magalhaes’ lawyer said Banfield’s husband shot Ryan in his head, not killing him, but in a way the medical examiner said would have blinded Ryan. The lawyer said Banfield’s husband told Magalhaes to grab his gun, which she got out of a safe in the bathroom. Magalhaes said Ryan started flailing around or posed a threat of some sort, possibly moving to get up off of the ground. Her lawyer said that’s when she shot Ryan, hitting him in the heart, and killing him.
The prosecution presented a different picture of the relationships in the home and the events leading up to the stabbing and shooting.
The Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office contends that Magalhaes and Banfield’s husband had an exclusive affair and that the husband didn’t go to work that day. Instead, he’s to have left the home in the morning and gone somewhere close to it.
As far as for the way that Magalhaes’ lawyer said Banfield and Ryan met and knew each other, prosecutors said that someone other than Banfield set up an account on a fetish website and that Ryan responded to it. They added that it was part of a plan that would allow Magalhaes and Banfield’s husband to end up together.
Prosecutors showed the judge pictures of Magalhaes’ room and closet as well as the Banfields’ bedroom and closet that were from the day of the deaths. They also showed pictures of the rooms and closets taken on the day of Magalhaes’ arrest in October. Prosecutors noted that Magalhaes’ closet was emptied out by the day of her arrest and that her clothes were hanging in the husband’s closet There also were pictures of Magalhaes and the husband together on the nightstand and dresser in his room.
Magalhaes’ lawyer acknowledged that it would come out that the au pair and the husband had a sexual relationship but said that she had “many relationships,” none of which was exclusive. He added that Banfield and her husband each had affairs and were unfaithful to one another.
Magalhaes, who is from Brazil, obtained a new passport after investigators confiscated her original one.
Although her lawyer argued that Magalhaes needed a passport as a form of ID, and that he told her to get a new one after he was unable to get her original passport from police, it added to the concern that Magalhaes could be a flight risk.
Because of the potential flight risk, as well as the fact that a gun was used in the crime of which Magalhaes is accused of committing and the nature of that crime, the judge denied bond.