In court for a hearing, man charged with ‘07 murder

A Bowie man coming to the Prince George’s County courthouse Friday for a violation of probation hearing was arrested and charged in a 2007 slaying, authorities said Tuesday.

Ronald D. Austin, of Bowie, 26, had come to Upper Marlboro Friday for a scheduled violation of probation hearing in a gun case, according to Prince George’s sheriff’s officials and online court records. But when he got to the courthouse, police and sheriff’s deputies were waiting to charge him in another incident — the 2007 killing of 36-year-old Eric Girard Jones, sheriff’s officials said.

Jones was shot and killed on the steps of an apartment building near the 3800 block of Regency Parkway in the Suitland area in June 2007, authorities said. At the time, police said they did not know a motive in the slaying.

It remains unclear what precipitated the shooting and what evidence police had to charge Austin. Both Prince George’s sheriff’s and police spokesmen did not return phone messages seeking comment late Tuesday afternoon.

Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.

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