Brandywine man who allegedly fatally shot a neighbor released on bond

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By Ruben Castaneda
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 26, 2010; 7:19 PM

A Brandywine man who allegedly fatally shot a neighbor and wounded the neighbor's son has been released after a Prince George's County judge agreed to give the suspect a bond.

Ronald Ragland Sr., 54, is accused of fatally shooting Robert D. Mitchell, 53, and of shooting and wounding Mitchell's 18-year-old son, also named Robert, on the afternoon of May 2. He was being held without bond before District Court Judge Patrick Duley granted him a $200,000 bond on Friday.

Neighbors said the shooting was apparently the culmination of a longstanding feud between Ragland and Robert D. Mitchell. The two men argued over who could throw a bigger cookout and whose lawn was in better shape, neighbors said.

Ragland's defense attorneys argued in court papers that Ragland shot his neighbors in self-defense.

Before the shooting, Ragland "made numerous telephone calls to the police expressing a concern about his safety and the safety of his wife. There had been threats made to him by the neighbor and the neighbor's son, " according to a motion filed by defense attorneys Robert C. Bonsib and Megan E. Green.

On the day of the shootings, one of the Mitchells threatened Ragland's life, and the other -- the motion does not state who -- pointed a handgun at Ragland, the motion states.

Prosecutors argued against granting Ragland bond in the Friday hearing, saying that his release would be a threat to public safety, said State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey.


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