Petworth man dubbed ‘serial offender’ ordered held in D.C. jail

A D.C. Superior Court judge called a Petworth man suspected in the stabbings of four women in Northwest Washington a “serial offender” Tuesday and ordered him to remain in D.C. jail until trial.

Magistrate Judge Frederick Sullivan said prosecutors presented enough evidence for him to find probable cause to order Garey Jones III, 20, held in jail on charges of assault with a deadly weapon in connection with one of the attacks.

Jones sat at his preliminary hearing, often with his head down, as Assistant U.S. Attorney Brittain Shaw said four late-night attacks on women in the Petworth and Bloomingdale neighborhoods between May 5 and June 19 “all seemed to happen for no reason.” The attacks occurred between 10:30 p.m. and 12:15 a.m. None of the women were seriously wounded, but the attacks created fear among residents in the area.

Jones was arrested Saturday after detectives saw a man who they said fit the description of the attacker standing in Sherman Circle, and found dried blood on his pants leg. Jones was carrying a small folding pocket knife, Shaw said. Officers searched his home, which is about three blocks from the site of one of the attacks, Shaw said, and found clothes similar to what victims described the attacker as wearing.

During the hearing, Jones’s attorney, Paul Signet, argued that there was no concrete evidence that his client was the assailant because all the victims gave different descriptions of their attacker and only one victim was shown a photo array. That victim failed to identify Jones’s likeness among the photos.

Sullivan said that as of now, the prosecution has a “very strong” circumstantial case, which could change, the judge said, depending on the results of DNA tests of Jones’s clothes.

Jones’s mother had told detectives that her son had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Jones’s next hearing is scheduled for July 8.

Keith Alexander covers crime, specifically D.C. Superior Court cases for The Washington Post. He has covered dozens of crime stories from Banita Jacks, the Washington woman charged with killing her four daughters, to the murder trial of intern Chandra Levy.
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