A 16-year-old Virginia youth charged in the slaying of a construction worker in October told police that he shot "the black dude" because his older brother "didn't like him, his attitude and everything," Fairfax County Circuit Court records show.
According to a statement made during an interview with Fairfax police and filed at the court, Thomas L. Grogg, his 19-year-old brother Robert and two female companions, both juveniles, were hitchhiking on I-95 on Oct. 20 when they were picked up by Hallie Hollis, 28, in his red Grand Torino.
The body of Hollis, who lived in Williamston, N.C., but was employed by the Vulcan Materials Co. in Lorton, was found the next day in the Vulcan parking lot with nine bullet wounds in the head.
Thomas Grogg of Fredericksburg, Va., was indicted on Dec. 16 on charges of murder, robbery and the use of a firearm in commission of a felony, and his trial has been set for Feb. 18.
William B. Reichhardt, the youth's attorney, said he has filed a motion to suppress the statement made to Fairfax County police investigator J.A. Hughes in Sarasota, Fla., after his arrest. Robert Grogg also has been charged with murder, robbery and the use of a firearm in commission of a felony.
In the taped statement, Hughes asked Thomas Grogg to explain what happened from the day Hollis was killed to the day of the interview, Oct. 28.
Grogg said that he, his brother and their companions, who are not named because they are juveniles, were picked up by Hollis. They took the Quantico exit from the highway and stopped at a store where Robert Grogg bought a six-pack of beer with money he got from Hollis. They went back to the store several times to get beer, wine and pizza, Grogg's statement said.
Thomas Grogg said that during that time his brother told him "he didn't like him [Hollis], his attitude and everything," and wanted to shoot him.
Q. "Okay. Now how many times did you shoot him?"
A. "I'm not sure."
Q. "All right. Ah, was there a delayed time between some of the shots?"
A. "Between one."
Q. "All right. You shot him one time and then what happened?"
A. "And I closed my eyes and started pulling the trigger again."
Grogg said that then the girl in the front seat, who he had said earlier was getting sick, said to Grogg: "Stop, it's hurting my head . . . . "
Grogg said they pulled Hollis' body out of the car, and Hughes asked Grogg whether his brother had said anything to him:
A. "Yeah. He said, he should have shot him."
A. "Because I was nervous afterwards."
Grogg then explained to the officer that he took Hollis' wallet and asked his brother to run over Hollis, but his brother replied that Hollis already was dead. Later, they drove the car to a fast food outlet, Grogg said, then discarded some items and went to his mother's house and one of the girls' houses, after which they said they "met up with this dude that's going to Florida."
The brothers and their companions were arrested Oct. 26 in Sarasota, five days after Hollis' car was found in Daytona Beach, Fla. The four were extradited to Fairfax, where they were charged.
Reichhardt said yesterday that he would appeal the Dec. 13 ruling that Thomas Grogg should be tried as an adult.
One of the girls was convicted in juvenile court last month on a charge of being an accessory after the fact; the other is free on bond, awaiting trial on charges of grand larceny and accessory after the fact, according to her attorney, Peter D. Greenspun.