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Man convicted in cold case of Hampton University student's fatal 2005 stabbing to serve 4 years behind bars

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Posted at 8:33 PM, Mar 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-17 21:53:55-04

HAMPTON, Va. - The man charged in connection with the deadly stabbing of a Hampton University student in 2005 learned he will spend four years behind bars after a sentencing hearing in Hampton Circuit Court Wednesday.

Jihad Amir Ramadan, 35, of New Rochelle, New York, was initially charged with second-degree murder in the July 17, 2005, stabbing that killed rising HU senior BJ Bryant. He pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in Oct. 2021.

A judge handed down a 10-year prison term with six years suspended. Additionally, Ramadan is subject to 10 years of supervised probation.

Under Virginia law, Ramadan will be credited for time served in jail for his arrest after he turned himself into Norfolk Police in Sept. 2019.

The case garnered national attention as a cold case.

Bryant was stabbed inside a bar near the university in 2005.

News 3 spoke to Bryant's mother, Cheryl Pitts-Bryant, in 2019 from her home in Texas after Ramadan's arrest.

"I got a phone call last night from Hampton Police and the detective said, 'Ms. Bryant, I have good news,' and they said, 'Jihad... we got him,'" Cheryl Pitts-Bryant told us at the time.

She said her son was a scholar, an athlete and had aspirations of becoming a lawyer.

U.S. Marshals said Ramadan was on the run for 14 years, likely fleeing to New York and that his family helped him elude arrest.

In early 2019, U.S. Marshals once again broke the crime down to News 3 after the airing of John Walsh’s show "In Pursuit," where national attention re-focused investigators on this case.

Ramadan remains in custody at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail pending transfer to the Virginia Department of Corrections.