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Pr. George’s teens charged in stabbing death of Air Force veteran, 74

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Glenn Ralph Adkisson was taking his family’s Pomeranian for a late-morning walk when two teenagers approached him, police said. Investigators think the teens told the 74-year-old he was being robbed — and he told them he had nothing of value.

The teens stabbed him in the chest, police said, and then ran. Apparently unaware of the severity of his injuries, Adkisson walked the dog back to his family’s apartment. His daughter's boyfriend called 911, but Adkisson was mortally wounded. He lapsed into a coma, and he died in a hospital weeks later.

The case struck a nerve with Prince George’s County homicide detectives, who arrested two suspects early this week and then returned to the neighborhood in search of more witnesses to bolster their case. Adkisson was a retired truck driver who had spent about 20 years in the Air Force. When he told the robbers he had nothing to give them, police and family members said, he was telling the truth.

“This could have been my father, or your father, or your grandfather,” said Allyson Hamlin, the lead detective on the case. “It’s brazen enough to try to rob someone at 11:30 [a.m.], but when you’re talking about an elderly gentleman walking his dog, it takes it to a whole new level.”

The teens were arrested Tuesday, the same day Adkisson died, police said. Charged with murder are Marcus C. Ferguson, 16, and 18-year-old Kenneth B. Gails, friends who live in different buildings in the Parkview Gardens apartment complex in the 6200 block of 64th Avenue in Riverdale, police said. Ferguson has been charged as an adult.

Officers who work in the area were familiar with the two before the stabbing, Hamlin said, and when they were brought in for questioning their statements “clearly implicated them.”

The stabbing took place in the apartment complex’s parking lot, according to police. Investigators have already spoken with some witnesses, Hamlin said, and were reviewing footage from the surveillance cameras that dot the area.

Adkisson lived in Parkview Gardens with his daughter, granddaughter and his daughter’s boyfriend. He had been there since 2009, when he lost his longtime home in Hyattsville to foreclosure, said Amanda Adkisson, 23, Glenn Adkisson’s daughter. She said her mother died of lung cancer in December, and family members were still struggling to cope with that loss when her father was stabbed July 14.

Adkisson said her father joined the Air Force in his late teens and served in the military until the 1960s. She said he traveled around the world three times with the Air Force, and then traveled the country as a truck driver after his return.

“He was not a person that stays in the house,” Adkisson said.

In the neighborhood, Glenn Adkisson was well-known as “Pop,” his daughter said. She said he frequently walked the dog — named Evie because her birthday is Dec. 31 — and would rarely take valuables with him. He had five children, 13 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, Adkisson said.

Adkisson said she and her father did not know Ferguson or Gails, but she is relieved that they are in custody.

“That is truly a blessing,” she said.

A woman who identified herself as Ferguson’s mother hung up on a reporter who called seeking comment.

A woman at Gails’s apartment who identified herself as his grandmother said that Gails, a graduate of Parkdale High School, was at work with a construction company when the stabbing occurred. She said she did not know the name of the company or its owner, and she declined to give her name or additional information. about her grandson or the case.

Gails and Ferguson did not indicate why Adkisson was attacked, Hamlin said.

“There’s no good explanation for it,” she said.

Staff researcher Magda Jean-Louis contributed to this report.

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