Case Closed: Ervin pleads guilty to 2018 murder of Destinee Virgin

Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 8:51 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A Columbus man will spend more than three decades behind bars for the murder of his ex-girlfriend.

Thursday, a family’s two-and-a-half year search for justice seemingly came to an end.

The Virgin family tells News Leader 9 that today is bittersweet. While Markel Ervin is behind bars for at least the next 35 years for killing Destinee Virgin, the family says they’ll have to live with knowing one day he could get out.

Ervin pleaded guilty and learned his fate for the murder of the Carver High school grad on September 22, 2018.

It’s a day friends and family of Destinee Virgin say they will never forget.

“I thought about Destinee that day when I saw Markel with the gun on Instagram. I didn’t get to say my last words to her,” said Jasmine Grimes, friend of Destinee Virgin.

“There’s really no positive result in this. My client is going to spend the next 35 years in prison and who knows if he’ll ever get parole or not,” said Michael Eddings, Ervin’s attorney.

It was very emotional in Thursday when new details came to light.

Police say on the same day Virgin was gunned down, Markel Ervin kicked the door in to his girlfriend’s house and stole her mother’s pistol.

He then beat the 18 year old, kidnapped her, and forced her into her own car, according to police.

Virgin managed to get out at the intersection of Macon and Rigdon Roads.

Police say that’s when Ervin shot her with her mother’s pistol and left her in the street to die.

According to police testimony, he then, unknowingly, went to an off-duty police officer’s home in Harris County while still in Destinee Virgin’s car, in hopes of using the phone.

Ervin and the off-duty cop wrestled. Once the officer noticed the vibe something wasn’t right, he tried to detain him, but Ervin got away.

Ervin was later found with Virgin’s car.

“I’m not going to say I’m exactly pleased, but I am glad she’s received some type of justice,” said Mechelle Virgin, mother of Destinee Virgin.

“No amount of justice will truly be enough, but you do want to do something for the family,” added Breanna Foster, assistant district attorney.

Virgin says she thinks Ervin’s plea deal is just a slap on the wrist. According to her, one day she’ll forgive the man who took her daughter’s life.

“Like I said, just not today,” Virgin added.

Virgin tells News Leader 9 that she will continue to be Destinee’s voice. She plans to advocate for teen dating violence awareness and domestic violence victims.

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