Mohamed Aly, an 18-year-old high-school student from Northern Virginia charged in a Feb. 8 double homicide in Halifax County, told a judge on Tuesday morning he plans to hire his own attorney to represent him.

The student at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria faces two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

He is being held with no bond at Blue Ridge Regional Jail in Halifax County.

Aly communicated with the judge at Halifax County General District Court on Tuesday by video conference.

Media representatives were not allowed inside the room during the video conferencing advisement.

Ntombo Joel Bianda, 21, of Alexandria, and Ayanna Munne Maertes Griffin, 19, of Germantown, Maryland, were found lying in the grass dead near a silver 2009 Nissan Maxima in the median on U.S. 58 near Melon Road in the Turbeville area around 2:50 a.m. on Feb. 8.

Both victims had suffered gunshot wounds, according to a news release from Virginia State Police.

Less than a week later, the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Appomattox Field Office took Aly into custody without incident in Alexandria on Thursday, Feb. 13.

The FBI Richmond Field Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and several other local law enforcement agencies all assisted state police with the homicide investigation.

The judge during Tuesday’s video advisement with Aly set a review date and time of March 3 at 9 a.m. for the case, according to a clerk at the court.

If Aly has an attorney by then, he will not be required to appear before the judge on that date, she said.

If Aly does not have an attorney by then, the clerk said he will have to appear before the judge on that date and explain why he does not have an attorney.

Miranda Baines is a staff writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at

Miranda Baines is a staff writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at