Police make arrest in March 3 home-invasion slaying in Montgomery County, Md.


Marc St. Aubin, a resident of this house in Montgomery County, was found slain in the driveway in early March, the night before this photograph was taken. The home sits off Laughlin Lane in the Norbeck area of the county. (Dan Morse/The Washington Post)

From the beginning, the March 3 slaying of Marc St. Aubin at a large Montgomery County home had the hallmarks of a chaotic crime — the victim was found beaten and stabbed in a driveway, another man showed up at a hospital with gunshot wounds, and there were numerous people in the home during the attack.

On Sunday, police said they had made an arrest in the case and revealed details of just how chaotic the scene was.

Police alleged that an armed group entered the house to rob the place. One of the intruders, Tavon Miles, 26, stabbed and beat St. Aubin, 23, police said. Miles ended up being shot during the melee, and evidence thus far suggests that St. Aubin may have shot him. Others at the scene tried to remove guns, marijuana and a safe from the home before officers arrived, police said.

St. Aubin was one of several tenants at the $700,000 home, which sits atop a small rise along winding Laughlin Lane in the Norbeck portion of the county. An affable snowboarder, St. Aubin had been charged in the past with possession of oxycodone pills. Miles, who lives on Framingham Drive in Gaithersburg, has a much longer record, going back to at least 2007, according to court records.

In this latest case, Miles was trying to steal marijuana and cash, said Capt. Paul Starks, a police spokesman. Detectives charged Miles with first-degree murder, armed robbery and first-degree burglary, and he remains held without bond. Detectives continue to investigate.


Tavon Miles (Montgomery County Police)

“That house was targeted because the suspects believed there was cash and drugs there,” Starks said.

On the night of March 3, police were called to the home about 10:30 for a report of a shooting. They arrived to find St. Aubin’s body in the driveway, with a gun holster — but no gun — in the small of his back.

A short time later, police received word that a man, later identified as Miles, had been dropped off at a nearby hospital, having been shot three times, Starks said.

While he was being treated, doctors and nurses discovered a bullet in his clothing that matched the caliber of those police were discovering at the home.

The exact sequence of events inside the house remains unclear, but detectives believe that at least one person tried to take St. Aubin to the hospital. Others tried to remove guns, the safe and marijuana. Police found the marijuana, the safe and some of the guns, Starks said. Detectives are investigating who owned the items.

Police think the bullets found in the home and the bullet found in Miles’s clothing came from the same weapon — and that St. Aubin owned a registered gun of the same caliber as the bullets. Police had yet to find this weapon.

Police had to wait until Miles was released from the hospital before charging him with St. Aubin’s slaying.

Miles has an extensive record. At 19, he was arrested in Prince George’s County and charged with possession of burglary tools, theft and other offenses. He appears to have served about six months in jail in that case, according to online court records.

Miles was arrested again — including in a case in Washington County, Md., for assault, and one in Montgomery for selling $50 worth of crack during an undercover police operation at a Damascus apartment complex. He pleaded guilty in the Montgomery case, and on July 20, 2012, appeared before Circuit Court Judge Marielsa Bernard to be sentenced.

“I learned my lesson about what I did or whatever,” Miles told the judge. “Just trying to make it right. Do my time, come home, do what I got to do for my kids.”

Bernard asked him about his children. Miles said he had two boys, one 2, the other younger.

Bernard gave Miles nine months in jail, fashioning the sentence so he could spend part of that time in a work-release center, to be followed by supervised probation. By February of this year, Miles’s recent arrests were catching up with him. On March 6, he was to appear in court for violating his probation. He didn’t make it, though, because he was in the hospital recovering from the gunshot injuries — suffered just three days earlier.

Post staff writer Dan Morse covers courts and crime in Montgomery County, Md.
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