A 33-year-old Northeast man now in jail for armed robbery was charged yesterday in the shooting death of a college student in Georgetown last year, D.C. police said.
A police spokeswoman said Melvin Vincent Anderson of 145 Todd Place was charged with felony murder in the Oct. 8 shooting of Charles Mark Beecroft, 20, of Springfield.
Beecroft and a friend were crossing a footbridge over the C&O Canal at Potomac and Grace streets NW about 1 a.m. when they were accosted by three men who demanded money at gunpoint, police said.
Beecroft's companion, Myung-Il Chang, 22, surrendered his wallet to the robbers, but Beecroft was shot in the chest when he tried to run, police said.
Chang administered artificial respiration to his wounded friend. Then Beecroft was taken to George Washington University Hospital where he died about an hour later, police said.
At an arraignment yesterday Commissioner Thomas Gaye ordered Anderson held without bond on the felony murder charge.
Anderson is currently serving a 5-to-15-year sentence for an armed robbery conviction.
According to an affidavit filed in court in the case by police, Anderson was arrested on Jan. 10 and charged in "three armed robberies within 7 to 15 blocks of the murder, and at the time of the arrest, he was found to be in possession of a .38-caliber handgun."
The affidavit also stated that police ballistics tests "concluded that the bullet recovered from the body was fired from the weapon recovered from the defendant."
D.C. homicide detectives said they are looking for several other suspects in connection with the shooting.
Beecroft, the eldest of four brothers, attended Lee High School and West Springfield High School in Fairfax County, and had been a student at Northern Virginia Community College.
Mark Beecroft, the victim's father, when told of the arrest, said yesterday in a telephone interview, "I'm glad the police have succeeded, but as far as my personal feelings, I have no feelings of vengeance toward anybody. We miss Mark, and I just hope the right thing is done with the man who did it."
"There is no way to forget this," he continued. "We miss him terribly. I am not one to show emotion, but I've shed more than one tear since this happened. I'm not always calm, but I have to lead my family. We are all doing fine though."
He said recently he received a letter from a girl who expected to see his son this summer.
"He met this girl at the University of Michigan, and was planning to work in Hawaii and meet her there. How do I write a letter telling this girl that my son has died?"