PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY
Man Charged With Murder in Stabbing
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
A 22-year-old man was charged yesterday with first-degree murder in the stabbing of a Fort Washington resident who was slain two weeks ago while riding a motorbike in a wooded area of Clinton, authorities in Prince George's County said.
Charging documents said Martinez L. Witherspoon, 22, incorrectly thought Steven P. Williams, 28, and another man had stolen his all-terrain vehicle.
Paula Parrish, Williams's mother, said in a phone interview that the arrest gave her little peace.
"My son's life was taken for nothing," she said tearfully.
About 8 p.m. April 15, Williams and the other man were attacked as they rode a motorbike and an ATV on a dirt trail in a wooded area southeast of Surrattsville High School, according to the charging documents.
Williams was pronounced dead at the scene. The other man was wounded but managed to call 911.
Witherspoon, of the 1100 block of University Place in Waldorf, surrendered to authorities yesterday morning. He is scheduled to appear today in District Court in Upper Marlboro.
It is not clear from the charging documents whether Witherspoon is also charged in the attack on the other man.
According to the charging documents, Witherspoon told detectives that the "stabbing occurred as the result of his ATV having been stolen" and that he thought Williams and the other man were responsible for the theft.
Williams's cousin Derell Carry said the arrest was a step toward his family's finding peace. Still, he said, "we'd give all that back to spend one more day with Steven."
"The family has been hurting," he said. "We're trying to move on as a family. News of the arrest is good for us to have closure."
According to the charging documents, homicide detectives identified Witherspoon's stepfather, Jerome Green, as a possible suspect in the days after the slaying.
The survivor identified Green, 46, of the 5700 block of Darlene Drive in Clinton, from a photo array, the documents say.
Green's home is in the same area as the dirt trail where Williams and his friend were attacked, according to the charging documents.
On April 21, Green waived his Miranda rights and told detectives that Witherspoon stabbed both victims and that he and Witherspoon then fled the bike trail, according to the charging documents. Green has not been charged, authorities said.
Witherspoon provided his statement the same day, according to the documents.
Williams worked at a vacuum repair shop and loved to ride his motorbike, relatives said. He lived in his mother's home and had been looking for an apartment to move into with his girlfriend and their 7-year-old daughter, relatives said.