Derrick Fenner, an Oxon Hill High School graduate who broke Atlantic Coast Conference records as a college football running back, was indicted yesterday by a Prince George's County grand jury on charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder stemming from his alleged involvement in a drug distribution ring.
Fenner, 20, is charged with the slaying of Marcellus Leach, 19, who died of a gunshot wound to the head, and of trying to kill a 17-year-old juvenile on a bicycle during a shooting rampage on May 23 near a Hyattsville apartment complex, according to the indictment.
Fenner also was indicted on two counts of using a handgun during the commission of a felony.
Hyattsville police issued an arrest warrant for Fenner on June 1 based on information from witnesses who saw a small gang carrying handguns enter the Kirkwood Apartments at 2717 Nicholson St.
Leach was in a courtyard in the center of the complex, police said, when four persons, including Fenner, entered and began shooting automatic weapons, while shouting that they were going to take over drug trafficking there.
Fenner left summer school classes at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill June 2 and surrendered to police.
He is still in custody at the county correctional center. No bond has been set.
Fred R. Joseph, Fenner's attorney, said yesterday that Fenner maintains he is innocent of the charges.
"Derrick is going to enter a plea of not guilty," Joseph said. "We are going to fight this case. We are going to seek an expedited hearing to permit Derrick to be released on a reasonable bond that will permit him to assist us in his defense."
"His goal is to show his innocence, get back to school and get on with his life," Joseph said.
The grand jury also charged Fenner with possessing cocaine and transporting a handgun, crimes that occurred in an unrelated incident.
On April 9 in the 5400 block of Kirby Road, according to the indictment, a county police officer stopped a vehicle Fenner was driving and found 25 plastic bags containing traces of cocaine in his jacket and a .38-caliber handgun under the driver's seat.
Fenner entered North Carolina in 1985. Last year, Fenner rushed 328 yards, an ACC record, against the University of Virginia, 216 yards against the Citadel and 173 yards against the University of Maryland.
If Fenner is convicted of all charges, he would face up to two life sentences plus 47 years and $27,500 in fines, according to the county state's attorney's office.