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Leesburg man receives maximum sentence for second-degree murder

Marco Corletto
A Leesburg man was sentenced to 45 years in prison today for killing his estranged wife in 2014.

Marco Corletto, 45, was convicted by a jury in February of second-degree murder and stabbing in the commission of a felony. The jury recommended the maximum sentence for both charges, which was upheld by Judge Douglas Fleming in Loudoun County Circuit Court.

Leesburg Police arrested Corletto on May 17, 2014, – one day after 31-year-old Roxana Rico died from at least 26 stab wounds, mostly to her upper torso, at Inova Fairfax Hospital. 

Rico was found about 2 p.m. lying on her back and screaming for help in a pool of her own blood in the entryway of the Clubhouse Drive apartment in Leesburg. She was airlifted to the hospital. 

Officers found Corletto sitting on a bench with a knife shortly after responding to the apartment complex. Court documents say Corletto told officers “just let me die” when they approached him.

Corletto was also taken to the hospital that day for self-inflicted stab wounds, according to Leesburg Police.

During a victim impact statement, Rico's mother, Rafaela Chavez, told Corletto through an interpreter that his actions have affected her family emotionally, economically and in many other ways.

“My life will never be the same again,” the mother said, breaking down in tears. “My life is destroyed. My grandchildren will never see their mother again, never celebrate Christmas or birthdays with her again. My family will never be the same.”

During his ruling, Fleming said the manner of Rico's death was “horrific.”

“She was stabbed at least 26 times and left to die,” said Fleming. “There is no evidence you called for help at any point.”

Corletto was originally charged with first-degree murder – which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison – but public defender Kelly King argued her client's actions were a crime of passion, as he tried to keep the family together. 

Corletto will serve 40 years for second-degree murder, another five consecutive years for stabbing in the commission of a felony and three years of parole. He also must pay restitution for funeral and other expenses to Rico's family. He has 30 days to appeal the decision.

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