Judge Orders Woolen Mills Murder Case Documents to be Unsealed

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An Albemarle County judge ruled on Thursday, March 8, that documents related to last summer’s murder in Woolen Mills will come out from under seal, but certain information will be redacted.

Attorneys for 23-year-old Jose Luis Escobar Umana asked for those documents to be released when he appeared in court on Tuesday, March 6, but the judge delayed a decision to examine case law.

The commonwealth initially expressed concerned about potential witness intimidation since investigators believe some of the suspects have affiliation with MS-13, an international criminal organization formed in Los Angeles during the 1980s.

Umana is one of several men charged with second-degree murder in connection to the death of 24-year-old Marvin Rivera-Guevara, whose body was found by Moore's Creek on July 4, 2017.

Police have said Rivera-Guevara does not appear to be connected with a gang.

After some deliberation, the judge ordered identifying information be redacted, and the documents be made available.