D.C. officer charged with felony murder in shooting

D.C. police say a six-year veteran of the department has been arrested in the slaying of a Maryland man earlier this month. Officer Reginald Jones is charged with felony murder. He will be arraigned Wednesday.
By Clarence Williams and Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A D.C. police officer was arrested Tuesday and charged with felony murder in connection with a fatal shooting about two weeks ago in Southeast Washington, police officials said.

In a case that appeared to be without recent precedent, police said Reginald Jones, who has been a member of the force for six years, was arrested in the death of Arvel S. Alston, 40.

Police said Jones "basically served as a lookout" and did not shoot Alston, who was killed in the 4300 block of Fourth Street on Dec. 1. A police source said Alston had been attempting a robbery that went awry.

Jones was on duty at the time and was at the scene in a patrol car assigned to the gun-recovery unit that he works for, a police source said. He fled when shots were fired, the source said.

Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier called Jones, 40, "a disgrace to the uniform."

"We will not allow this department to be judged by one bad apple," she said in brief remarks during a news conference at police headquarters.

Rather, she said, "we should be judged on how we handled that bad apple."

Alston and at least one other man were to carry out the robbery, according to police sources. However, the sources said, the intended victim resisted, and in the ensuing moments, Alston was fatally shot.

Three police sources said the shot that killed Alston was fired by his son.

In addition to Jones, two other men have been arrested in Alston's death, and police sources identified one of them -- Arvel Crawford -- as Alston's son.

The charge of felony murder, which faces the officer, Alston's son and the third suspect, may be brought when a death occurs during the commission of a serious felony. The death need not be intentional and may be accidental.

The intended victim of the robbery was wounded and taken to a hospital. The robbery victim's name has not been released.

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