Virginia Tech Student Accused of Murder has Charges Upgraded to - abc27 WHTM

Virginia Tech Student Accused of Murder has Charges Upgraded to First Degree Murder

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UPDATE: Christiansburg, VA - The former Virginia Tech student accused of killing a friend off campus in February now stands charged with first degree murder. 

Jessica Ewing was originally charged with the second degree murder of Tech senior, Samanata Shrestha.

A Montgomery County grand jury heard evidence last week and returned a first degree indictment.

A press release from the Commonwealth says the upgrade reflects their stance the murder was premeditated.

The charge carries 20 years to life in prison.

Ewing also faces five years for a charge of concealing a body.

--------Montgomery Co., VA - A general district judge in Montgomery County decided there was enough probable cause to certify Ewing's case to appear before a grand jury for possible indictment.

Prosecutors called two detectives that have been working the case who basically testified to the events leading up to the discovery of Samanata's body.

Also called to the stand was Ewing's friend who testified Ewing admitted, to her, that she had killed someone.

Ewing never admitted who it was she killed, according to that friend, but within a day, Shrestha's body was found just outside of Blacksburg town limits in Shrestha's car.

Also called was Shrestha's boyfriend who claimed texts to him, the night Samantha died, were not consistent with texts she would have sent him.

Ewing did not testify however her lawyer did tell the judge her client denies the charges against her.

Next month, a grand jury will decide if the case has enough evidence to move to trial.

 ----------Salem, VA - A Virginia Tech student accused of killing a fellow student earlier this year is expected to appear in court this afternoon for her preliminary hearing.

Tech senior, Samanata Shrestha was found dead in the back seat of her car in Montgomery County in February.

22 year old Jessica Ewing is charged with second degree murder.

Search warrants from the Roanoke County Courthouse say investigators took more than 140 pictures of Ewing to document any evidence of a physical struggle.

The warrants are consistent with bruising, scratches and bite marks. Ewing's hearing is set for 2 p.m.

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