Ex-Boyfriend of Jholie Moussa Pleads Guilty to Teen’s Murder

By Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.
June 13, 2019 Updated: June 13, 2019

The ex-boyfriend of teen Jholie Moussa, who went missing for two weeks and then was found dead in a park, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on June 12, according to the Fairfax County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.

In court June 12, Nebiyu Ebrahim, 18, pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of his ex-girlfriend Moussa on Jan. 12, 2018, who was 16 when she died. He also admitted to hiding her body after beating and strangling her, reported WUSA9.

Speaking to Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows, Casey Lingan, the Attorney for Fairfax County Deputy Commonwealth, said Ebrahim told detectives he murdered his ex-girlfriend out of anger as he placed blame on her for his problems.

Moussa was last seen by her family members leaving her Sonia Court home near Woodlawn Park, and told her twin sister she would be back shortly before she left, Lingan said.

She then met up with Ebrahim at the park, where he placed her in an “MMA-style chokehold,” the attorney continued, reported The Washington Post.

He then sat Moussa up and strangled her for another three to four minutes.

“He started choking her out of blind rage,” Lingan said, adding that Ebrahim covered Moussa’s body with leaves after he killed her.

In an attempt to cover up the murder, Ebrahim then took his ex-girlfriend’s phone and messaged her twin sister to say she was going to a party in Norfolk.

He later returned to bury Moussa’s body in a grave he had dug out with a chef’s knife, Lingan said.

Moussa’s apparent disappearance sparked a two-week search by police and her family members, before her body was discovered in the park.

Moussa’s mother, Syreeta Steward, told WUSA9 that the news of Ebrahim’s guilty plea brings her and her family some closure.

“I’m just grateful that it’s happened, to be honest with you. There’s a lot of people that do not get closure,” she said.

“There’s a lot of families that are still looking for their missing children. And there’s still a lot of murderers that are still out free.”

Moussa had been in an abusive relationship with Ebrahim in the months leading up to her murder, and she tried to break up with him on multiple occasions, it was said in court.

Speaking to The Washington Post following the court hearing, Moussa’s aunt, Veronica Eyenga, said her niece met Ebrahim at Mount Vernon High School.

In the past, Moussa reportedly told police that Ebrahim “would not allow her to break up with him,” reported WUSA9.

Prior to Moussa’s murder, Ebrahim had already been convicted of assaulting Moussa and was in a school for troubled teens, The Washington Post reported.

In December 2017, Moussa was choked by Ebrahim until she fell unconscious and he presumed she was dead. On another occasion, Moussa was assaulted by Ebrahim after she broke up with him.

The 18-year-old was subsequently expelled from Mount Vernon High School and told by police to keep a distance from his ex-girlfriend.

“I just don’t want any other young child, any other woman, any other person to go through this. It was a senseless death. Jholie’s death was senseless,” Moussa’s mother, Steward told WUSA9.

Ebrahim is set to be sentenced on Sept. 4 and could face 20 years to life in prison.

Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.