Arrest in killing of hospital worker

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Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, January 7, 2011

The unusual slaying at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda was high-profile, coming on New Year's Day at the well-known facility. The victim, Roosevelt Brockington, was stabbed more than 70 times in a basement boiler room.

Detectives quickly identified a suspect: Keith Little, a hospital employee. He worked for Brockington, who had recently given him a poor performance review. Little had also been accused of killing a co-worker at a previous job, at a maintenance facility in the District in 2003, but he was acquitted.

Detectives spoke to Little, but they said it wasn't until a bizarre incident Wednesday night that they had enough to charge him: Another hospital worker said he saw Little, just outside the boiler room, using chemically treated water and a bucket to wash down a pair of black gloves and a ski mask, police said.

"We got a break in the case," Montgomery Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said Thursday.

Little, 49, of Lanham, was being held without bond in the Montgomery County jail. He is due in court Friday for a bond hearing on a charge of first-degree murder.

Detectives said the brutality of the crime indicated a lot of anger. They said the recent poor performance review from Brockington kept Little from getting a raise.

"We believe this may have been the motive," Manger said.

In the District case, Little was charged on three counts, including second-degree murder while armed, in the shooting death of Gordon Rollins, according to court documents.

Rollins and Little were co-workers at the facility in Northwest Washington. Rollins, 47, was a janitor, and Little was a maintenance man who had joined the company a month before the shooting.

Authorities said the two men argued over a missing plumber's snake before Rollins was shot to death. Rollins had accused Little of stealing tools, according to Montgomery officials.

Co-workers said they had seen the two men argue before Rollins was fatally shot Feb. 3, 2003.

The case sat until Little was charged with second-degree murder in 2006. Little pleaded not guilty, and a jury acquitted him after a four-day trial.


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