A 23-year-old D.C. man was indicted yesterday on felony murder and armed robbery charges stemming from the slaying last year of Catherine L. Fuller -- a widely publicized crime for which 16 persons have been arrested, the largest number ever for a single slaying here.
A D.C. Superior Court grand jury returned the indictment against Alphonso L. Harris of Eighth Street NE. Harris currently is being held in jail without bond. Efforts to reach his attorney yesterday were unsuccessful.
Law enforcement officials have said they expect further indictments in the case.
Fuller, a 49-year-old mother of six, was attacked and slain last Oct. 1 while she walked home carrying a bag of groceries near Eighth and H streets NE, according to police.
The case has sparked widespread interest because of the large number of suspects and what police have described as the apparently spontaneous nature of the killing. Similarities have been drawn to a case in New Bedford, Mass., in which a woman was raped at a tavern as patrons cheered on the attackers.
Most of the suspects arrested here are from the same Northeast neighborhood where Fuller lived. Fuller's son, David, has said that he used to play basketball with Harris.
According to the indictment and court documents, just before dusk last Oct. 1 Fuller was followed by a group of young men as she turned the corner onto Eighth Street NE. One witness, standing in the 800 block of H street with a group of people, told investigators that one person in the group spotted Fuller and said, "She got big money, let's get paid," affidavits state.
Fuller, according to the documents, then was forced into an alley, hit on the head, kicked repeatedly and then carried inside a garage where some of her clothes were ripped from her body and a long metal object rammed into her rectum. Money and jewelry were also taken from Fuller, according to court documents.