Suspect declines to testify in federal carjacking trial

Jason Scott Thomas, the Largo man who is charged in a grisly double-murder in Prince George’s and under investigation in three other killings, declined Wednesday to testify in his federal trial on charges of burglary, home invasion, sexual assault, and firearms offenses.

Closing arguments in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt are scheduled for Friday. The defense rested after Kobie Flowers, Thomas’s attorney, called three witnesses who testified about technical matters such as fingerprint and computer evidence.

After the three witnesses completed their testimony, U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte told Thomas, 28, he had the right to testify, and asked whether he would. Thomas said he chose not to. The exchange occurred while the jury was not in the courtroom.

Among the witnesses who testified for the defense was a Maryland state police expert on fingerprints and shoeprints who said an impression of a shoeprint taken from a Carroll County gun store that was burglarized did not match a specific pair of Thomas’s shoes seized by investigators. Thomas is charged with burglarizing that store with a co-defendant and selling some of the dozens of firearms that were stolen.

Prosecutors did not introduce the shoeprint into evidence.

A computer expert also testified for the defense. Flowers said in court that the witness would cast doubt on some of the evidence unearthed by investigators who seized a number of computers from the Largo home where Thomas lived with his family.

In federal court, Thomas is charged with a series of armed home invasions, burglaries of homes, and the burglary of the gun store. He is also charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl and taking still photos and video of the assault.

Separately, Thomas faces state charges that the murdered Delores Dewitt, 42, and her daughter Ebony, 20. Their bodies were found inside a burning stolen car in Largo on March 16, 2009.

Thomas is scheduled to go on trial for those killings in Circuit Court in Upper Marlboro in November.

Prince George’s police investigators have also said Scott is a “person of interest” in the double-homicide of another mother and daughter from Largo: Karen Lofton, 45, and her daughter Karissa, 16. Their bodies were found inside their locked home on Jan. 26, 2009. Both had been fatally shot.

Police have said Scott is also under investigation for a 2008 murder in which a Bowie woman was shot to death inside her home, which was then set on fire.

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