Stalker Released By Police Kills Woman, Himself

On March 10 the ex-boyfriend of Karen Mitsoff, a respected teacher in Alexandria, VA broke into Mitsoff’s condominium and threatened to kill her and himself. The stalker, Fisseha Senbet was later charged with burglarly and released on $2500 bond. On Monday (3-25), Mitsoff made good on his threat, breaking into Mitsoff’s home and fatally shooting her before killing himself. The tragedy prompted the city’s chief prosecutor to call for tougher strategies to combat domestic violence. Althought Senbet’s threats were noted in the court file, prosecutors made no attempts to ask for a longer jail stay because they said he had no known criminal record or history of mental illness. According to Virginia’s anti-stalking law, judges can set high bonds or order suspects held for counseling if there is evidence of a threat. Chief District Judge O’Flaterty chose to release Senbet on a low bond amount without mandating any form of counseling.


The Washington Post - March 27, 1996

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