Prince George's Official Charged In 2nd Gun Case

By Candace Rondeaux and Ruben Castaneda
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, April 7, 2007

Keith A. Washington, the Prince George's County official who shot two furniture deliverymen this year, turned himself in to county police yesterday after being charged with pulling a gun on a real estate appraiser who said he mistakenly knocked on his door this week.

Washington, 45, the county's deputy homeland security director, was charged yesterday morning with first-degree assault, second-degree assault and use of a handgun during a violent crime in connection with Thursday's incident at his house in Accokeek.

He arrived at the Prince George's County Detention Center about 11 a.m. and left about 4:30 p.m. after posting $75,000 bond, corrections officials said. The arrest followed a decision by Police Chief Melvin C. High late Thursday to suspend Washington's police powers, which stripped the corporal of his police-issued gun and badge. An internal affairs investigation is also underway, authorities say.

Washington remains under investigation for shooting two Marlo Furniture movers who were making a delivery to his house Jan. 24. Washington shot Brandon D. Clark, 22, and Robert White, 36, with his police-issued 9mm Beretta after a dispute over a bed set escalated, police said. Clark died of his wounds Feb. 2.

Washington has said he shot the men in self-defense. Messages left for his attorney, Steve Sunday, were not returned this week, and attempts to reach Washington were unsuccessful.

Prince George's State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey said his office is awaiting the results of forensic analysis of physical evidence found in Washington's home and other tests before moving forward with the shooting case.

"I think the [tests] could help to corroborate or undercut the various versions of what happened that night," Ivey said. "I think it's critical to have the forensic evidence to move forward."

Ivey said he supports High's decision to suspend Washington and confiscate his weapon in the meantime. "I think, given the circumstances, it was the appropriate thing to do," he said.

Investigators confiscated Washington's service weapon when he was placed on administrative leave after the January shooting. At some point, under standard police practices, he was issued another weapon. A source, who requested anonymity because the case is ongoing, said investigators think the gun involved Thursday was the newly issued service weapon.

The incident that triggered Washington's arrest occurred when Kevin King, a real estate appraiser for ONCE Appraisals in the District, pulled up to Washington's house in the 1500 block of Shellford Lane about 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

In a charging document filed with Prince George's authorities, King said he was sitting in his vehicle, which bore his company's name on the tailgate, when Washington pulled into his driveway. King said he noticed the car immediately because Washington almost hit his mailbox as he parked.

"He exited his car and looked at me. I waved at him to say 'Hi,' " King said in the charging document.

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