FBI agents have traced the ownership of a 1980 Cadillac allegedly used as a getaway car by one of the suspects in last Friday's execution-style killing of a Lorton inmate to the home address of a D.C. Department of Corrections counselor.
The Cadillac driven by Edward Ford Sharrieff, 32, who is charged with first-degree murder in the prison slaying of Douglas McArthur Boney, was registered at the Lorton address of Robert (Pappy) Gault, but not in Gault's name. Gault, a former U.S. Olympic boxing coach, is a $20,000-a-year job couselor employed by the D.C. Department of corrections. $2
Gault acknowledged in an interview yesterday that he knew both Sharrieff and Boney, who was killed when gunmen invaded a dormitory at a minimum security prison camp.
Gault said the car was registered at his address without his knowledge.
FBI agents are seeking to determine whether Gault's previous associations with Sharrieff and Boney might shed any light on the Lorton incident, sources familiar with the investigation said.
Gault said yesterday that he could not say why the car driven by Sharrieff would have been listed to the house at Lorton where Gault lives. Gault rents the house from the corrections department for $145 a month.
"Why he [Sharrieff] used my address, I don't know," Gault said yesterday during an interview in his tiny corrections department office at 1010 North Capitol St. Gault, who was in North Carolina at a boxing event when Boney was killed, said Boney, 35, "was a very dear friend -- like a son. It hurts me he didn't have a chance," said Gault.
Sharrieff is one of three men accused of bursting into a lightly guarded Lorton dormitory early Friday and gunning down Boney, a convicted heroin dealer, as Boney bolted from the building. He was shot to death "at point-blank range," allegedly by Sharrieff, in "one of the most brutal, vicious attacks" at Lorton, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Tandy.
Sharrieff and two other suspects, Germain P. Stoddard, 24, of 409 Upshur St. NW and John Elbert Landon, 30 of 4407 Lions St., Marlow Heights, were arrested near Lorton within hours of the shooting. Sharrieff and Landon are being held under $1 million bond each, and Stoddard under $500,000.
The FBI originaly said that a fourth suspect was involved in the shooting. But the bureau is now unsure whether there was a fourth person, a spokesman for the FBI's Alexandria office said yesterday.
The FBI spokesman said agents have received conflicting statements from eyewitnesses, with some saying only three gunmen were involved while others maintain there were four. Agents still are proceeding on the theory that there was a fourth intruder, the spokesman said, but "we have not identified him as yet."
Investigators also have not established a clear motive for the bizarre murder. D.C. homicide detectives have advanced the theory that the Boney killing might be tied to a possible drug war that they believe is now underway in the District of Columbia. Police are proding possible connections between Boney's death and at least four other drug-related murders in the last two months, they said.
Law enforcement officials also are investigating whether Boney's death was a "contract murder" involving persons other than the three suspects already arrested.
"There're more people involved," said one law enforcement official. "I'm sure there'll be other deaths."
When the intruders surpised the two guards at Boney's Lorton dormitory, they allegedly shouted "we're looking for two snitches." They also said they were looking for a second inmate identified by the FBI as being John D. Irby, a convicted murderer who once worked in a prison work-release program at an auto repair shop owned by Boney's brother, Edward, in Washington.
While working at the auto shop, Irby was charged with selling drugs to an undercover D.C. police officer, but the charges were dropped after a series of mistrials.
Sharrieff, who has been arrested on an assortment of narcotics, arson and assault charges over the years, is well known to District of Columbia police, who describe him as a flamboyant individual who has a habit of driving expensive cars.
Police sources said they are investigating what possible role, if any, Sharrieff might have had in a May 1 attempt on the life of Gault. Gault told police that on that evening somebody shot at him while he was riding in the back seat of his 1976 Cadillac near the intersection of Maryland Avenue and 11th Street NE.
Police said Gault was bruised when a bullet slammed into the back seat of his car. Two other men seated in the front were not injured. No arrests have been made in the case.
Investigators have learned that both Sharrieff and Gault's name appear on a list of names of people approved by Boney to visit him at Lorton, according to sources.
Gault said that he was attempting to help Boney, who had spent considerable time in jail, straighten out his life. Gault said he strongly doubts that Boney had any involvement with drugs at the time of his death.
The alleged getaway car listed at Gault's address was not registered in Sharrieff's name, but under the name of a woman the FBI has identified as a companion of Sharrieff's, sources said.
Sharrieff's attorney, P. David Gavin, said at a bond hearing that Sharrieff used the car in his business as a boxing and rock concert promoter, but that the car was owned by another individual whom the lawyer did not identify.
In 1974, Gault was acquitted in U.S. court in Alexandria on charges that he accepted a $1,000 bribe from a Lorton inmate in exchange for Gault's arranging trips for the inmate outside the reformatory.
Despite the acquittal, Gault was transferred from his job as a recreation specialist at Lorton to his present position as a job counselor in the departments's D.C. office.