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Home Murder A Brazilian nanny has been accused of a complicated murder involving her employer and a stranger with unusual sexual interests

A Brazilian nanny has been accused of a complicated murder involving her employer and a stranger with unusual sexual interests

A Virginia judge on Monday found the evidence compelling enough to send forward the case against a 24-year-old au pair charged with killing a man last year who had just killed her employer. But that’s about as simple as the case against Juliana Peres Magalhaes gets, and it’s not half the story. According to Magalhaes, …

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On Monday, a judge in Virginia decided that there was enough evidence to proceed with the case against a 24-year-old nanny who is charged with killing a man who had recently killed her employer.

However, the case against Juliana Peres Magalhaes is not simple and tells only part of the story.

Juliana Peres Magalhaes, a Brazilian citizen, stated that she left the home of Brendan and Christine Banfield in Herndon, where she worked as a live-in nanny, at around 7:30 a.m. on February 24, 2023, with the Banfields’ 4-year-old daughter. According to WTOP, she was actually heading to the National Zoo in DC with the young girl.Later, she said that she turned back because she had forgotten their lunches.

She observed a strange car upon her return and tried to reach Christine Banfield, who did not answer, before contacting Brendon Banfield, who worked as a criminal investigator for the IRS. WRC saidHe quickly went to the house and, together, they entered a second-floor suite, discovering that a stranger had attacked Christine, stabbing her multiple times. Brendon shot the stranger with his service weapon, but he remained alive. He instructed Magalhaes to retrieve another gun from a gun safe in the bathroom so they could shoot the man again. She followed the instruction and shot the man, later identified as Joseph Ryan, in the chest, according to WTOP.

Investigators then found evidence that Ryan, 39, had been in contact with Christine Banfield— or someone using her identity— through a website for sexual fetishes. However, the communications did not match the known Christine Banfield, leading detectives to suspect that someone else had arranged the meeting between her and Ryan that morning.

Juliana Peres Magalhaes/Fairfax County Police Department and Christine Banfield/handout

Magalhaes was arrested in October 2023 on charges of second-degree murder and use of a firearm in a felony. Prior to her arrest, detectives found photos of Brendan Banfield and the nanny in the bedroom he had shared with his wife, along with Magalhaes’s lingerie. Magalhaes denied having an affair with him.

During the investigation, Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis stated, “I suspected from the very beginning — and I went to the scene of that double murder — that there was going to be a lot of twist and turns to this investigation. The twists and turns are still ongoing,” according to WRC.

He added, “It’s my expectation that we will eventually be able to hold more than just one person accountable for this crime.”

In court, evidence was presented that Banfield and the nanny had visited a shooting range together twice before the shooting, and that Banfield had subsequently purchased a Glock— the weapon used by Magalhaes to shoot Ryan.

During court proceedings, Banfield asserted his Fifth Amendment right and declined to answer nearly every question, including whether he was married to Christine Banfield at the time of the shooting.

No one has been charged in Christine Banfield’s death yet. A grand jury is expected to consider the case later this month.

[Featured image: Photo of Juliana Peres Magalhaes and Brendan Banfield by the widower’s bed after the murder/Fairfax County Police Department]

On Monday, a Virginia judge determined that the evidence was convincing enough to proceed with the case against a 24-year-old au pair accused of killing a man who had previously killed her employer last year. However, this is just the beginning of the case against Juliana Peres Magalhaes, and there's more to the story according to her.

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