A suspect in a recent murder case, free on bond and serving on a D.C. Superior Court jury, was arrested yesterday at the courthouse on an armed robber charge, D.C. police reported.

William E. Tate, 23, whose last known D.C. address was 1113 Chicago St. SE, was excused from jury duty by Judge Tim Murphy after Murphy was informed by a courtroom bailiff that D.C. police were in the courtroom to arrest Tate on the robbery charge, police said.

While a witness testified in a drunk driving case, the bailiff whispered to Murphy that there was a problem. Murphy allowed his witness to finish his testimony, then sent the entire jury, including Tate, to the jury room.

A prosecutor explained to Murphy that Tate was wanted in connection with an armed robbery Oct. 29 in Southeast Washington. Tate was brought before Murphy, who informed him of his rights. He then excused him from the jury to go with the police. An alternate juror was called to replace Tate and the drunk driving trial continued.

Tate has been charged with murder in connection with the slaying Nov. 2 of Yulanda Ward, a leader of the City-wide Housing Coalition.