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  Teen Suspect in Md. Killing Found in Israel

By Maria Glod and Steve Vogel
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, September 25, 1997; Page A01

A 17-year-old high school senior charged in a Montgomery County dismemberment killing has been located in Israel, and his return was being negotiated last night, shortly after police identified the victim as a Silver Spring man last seen with the two slaying suspects.

The body of Alfredo Enrique Tello Jr., 19, was found Friday without arms and legs and burned almost beyond recognition in the garage of a vacant house around the corner from the Aspen Hill home of Samuel Sheinbein.

Acting on information from the Sheinbein family, Montgomery police located the youth in Israel, and police were negotiating his voluntary return through a private attorney.

"Over the last couple of days, we have been working to bring him back and informing the police of dates and times so they can take him into custody and bring him back to the county," Paul T. Stein, the Sheinbein family attorney, said yesterday. "The family is absolutely distraught, but we will be working with the state's attorney's office to see what happened here."

The other suspect, Aaron Benjamin Needle, also 17, remained in jail after his attorney told a judge that Needle would not seek bail because he felt safer behind bars while Sheinbein remained at large.

He is being held without bond at the Montgomery County Detention Center.

"There is a substantial danger to the community, including Mr. Needle, as long as Mr. Sheinbein is out there," said Michael V. Statham, the attorney for Needle.

"This is an unstable situation," Statham said after the bail hearing. "The situation is still developing. We don't know that there were only two individuals involved."

Police said Tello was identified by dental records. Employees at Congressional Aquarium in Rockville, where Tello worked for about three weeks, said his mother called the store several times last week asking whether her son had been to work.

"She said it wasn't like him to be gone," said Danny Woodruff, an employee at the store. "She did sound concerned."

Police said Tello moved out of his mother's home in the 14200 block of Amberleigh Terrace in a newer Silver Spring development on Sept. 15. He was last seen leaving the Rockville Pike shop about 6 p.m. the next day with Sheinbein and Needle, police said.

Montgomery County Assistant State's Attorney James Trusty said Tello was killed either that night or Sept. 17 -- the latter being the date on a Home Depot receipt discovered in the garage of the vacant house where Tello's remains were found.

The receipt, stamped at 2:17 p.m., listed a Makita circular power saw, a trash can and several propane cylinders. The saw and cylinders also were found in the garage. Charging documents indicate that Sheinbein got access to the adjoining vacant house on Sept. 18 after calling the son of a former resident and saying he needed a place to take a girl. Sheinbein was told that a key was over the sliding glass door, and Sheinbein located it while still on the cell phone, police said.

The body was discovered the next morning by an employee of the real estate agency making a routine check of a vacant property listed for sale. Needle was arrested Tuesday in Greenbelt.

The relationships among the three teenagers were not immediately known. Sheinbein may have met Needle when both were attending school in Rockville, according to one knowledgeable source. Sheinbein is now a senior at Kennedy High School in Wheaton.

Tello, who was known as "Freddy," attended Springbrook High School in Silver Spring but withdrew in December, midway through his senior year, according to a Montgomery public schools spokesman.

He worked for six months at a Rockville store whose owner described Tello as "a real sweet kid, but just real wise."

The woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said she had to fire him in April because he was often late to work.

"He had some friends who I wasn't too thrilled about being in my store, and I said, `Freddy, be careful,' " the woman said.

Woodruff said that published photos of Sheinbein resembled a friend who visited Tello in the store. "I think the one day I saw him, he was picking [Tello] up," he said.

Police are trying to find Tello's light blue 1978 Chevrolet Impala. The cars normally driven by Sheinbein and Needle were found in a Montgomery parking lot, and before Needle was arrested Tuesday, police said, he told his mother they had been in New York.

Montgomery police believe that from there, Sheinbein flew to Israel.

At the Mark Twain Center, the Montgomery school for emotionally disturbed children that Needle attended in 1996, officials expressed surprise. Principal Jack Robinson said that Needle had not been a violent student.

At yesterday's bail hearing, Needle, who appeared on a video monitor from the detention center, at first made no reply when District Court Judge Eric Johnson said: "The maximum penalty if you are found guilty is death. Do you understand that?"

Needle's mother pursed her lips and shook her head.

Needle, sitting ramrod straight and staring at the camera, made no reply. "Do you understand that?" Johnson repeated.

"Yes," came the answer.

Staff writers Fern Shen and Karl Vick contributed to this report.


© Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company

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