One Youth Offender's History in D.C.

By Colbert I. King
Saturday, February 7, 2009

D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty ought to be thankful that the two people found shot to death Dec. 10 and Jan. 9 (the first in an alley behind the 2200 block of Champlain Street NW and the second behind a building in the 1300 block of Columbia Road NW) were not high-ranking federal officials or Capitol Hill lawmakers.

Otherwise, the FBI and Congress's Government Accountability Office, not to mention national media, would be all over the D.C. government like white on rice.

And with good reason.

Because of the alleged shooter's background, U.S. authorities would want to know whether the deaths of federal officials were caused, in whole or in part, by actions of the D.C. government.

Fortunately for Fenty, no big names are involved. The dead, therefore, are yesterday's news.

Yes, that's unfortunate for the victims, their families and law-abiding residents. But that's life in the nation's capital.

Here's what the feds would have learned, if the deceased had been two of their own:

· The 18-year-old suspect in both deaths, Lafonte Lurie Carlton, was under the supervision of the city's Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services at the time of his arrest.

· On Aug. 10, 2006, at age 15, Carlton was charged with murder. He pleaded guilty to the charge on April 17, 2007, and a judge committed him to the DYRS Oak Hill Youth Center's secure facility in Laurel on Feb. 20, 2008. But a mere seven months later, DYRS released him back into the community under agency supervision.

There's more.

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