A 47-year-old man, a chronic alcoholic whose life seemed to disintegrate after his discharge from the military, was being held at D.C. General Hospital yesterday in connection with last month's stabbing deaths of the 3-year-old daughter of two D.C. police officers and the girl's 56-year-old babysitter.
Paul Leon Jordan, 47, who was on parole until 1987 after serving recent prison terms for attempted burglary, petty larceny and enticing a minor child, was arrested Thursday night and charged with two counts of homicide in the Jan. 24 deaths of young Crystin Fletcher and Cora Barnes, of 4321 Second St. NW.
Jordan did not appear at his arraignment late yesterday on a first-degree murder charge in the death of the Fletcher child. Bond was set at $100,000. Another hearing is scheduled Tuesday.
According to D.C. Superior Court records, Jordan previously had lived with his wife at a house next door to the home where the bodies of Barnes and the child were found.
Jordan is described in court documents as a "bright to normal" man who spent two years at a West Virginia university studying physics in his youth and was honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force, where he worked with an intelligence unit conducting airborne photographic surveillance in the 1950s.
But his frequent bouts with alcohol took Jordan in and out of rehabilitation programs and sometimes got him fired, said D.C. Parole Director Bernice Just.
According to Just, Jordan was paroled from prison in January 1984 and "appeared to be doing fine" until he lost his job at a car wash just before Christmas. Two days before the slayings, Just said, Jordan was ordered by his parole officer to report to an alcohol rehabilitation program because of heavy drinking.
Police spokesman Joe Gentile said Jordan was taken to D.C. General Hospital yesterday for "medical reasons," which Just described as alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
The bodies of Barnes and the Fletcher child were found in a blood-splattered second-floor bedroom of the woman's home by one of her daughters. The child had also been strangled and Barnes' throat was slashed, according to the D.C. medical examiner.
The girl was the only child of 2nd District officers Cortez and Crystal Fletcher, and police had speculated that the deaths might have been connected to the officers' work.
Police sources said Thursday that Barnes and Jordan apparently knew each other. The slayings, investigators said, allegedly followed an argument that investigators believe was prompted by the child's crying.
Although "many things" were missing from Barnes' home, police said at the time of the slayings that there was no sign of forced entry and that it appeared Barnes may have known her attacker.
Police officials said that Jordan had been questioned about the slayings previously but had not been considered a suspect then.
According to court records, Jordan had several jobs and D.C. addresses over the years and at one point was living out of a church.
In 1978, he was indicted for burglarizing a restaurant where he allegedly stole food and drinks. Later he was arrested again for failing to appear in court and pleaded guilty to bail-jumping, for which he was sentenced to one year probation and ordered to complete an alcohol rehabilitation program in Occoquan.
According to a probation officer's report filed in court, Jordan's wife refused to let him back into their house at 4319 Second St. NW because of his drinking and in June 1979, a few days after Jordan failed to return to the clinic in Occoquan from a weekend pass, two passersby found him allegedly fondling a 6-year-old girl in an alley and beat him on the head with a steel pipe, sending him to the hospital.
Jordan later pleaded guilty to enticing a minor child and was sentenced 20 months to 60 months in prison.
Shortly after his release, however, Jordan was arrested again and pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted burglary and petty larceny in connection with the break-in of a home on Varnum Street NW where, according to court records, he allegedly stole a tape recorder, $1,150 cash and a piggy bank.