A 22-year-old Northeast man was charged yesterday with second-degree murder in the Oct. 25 fatal stabbing of a teen-ager outside of a crowded go-go music club.
District police said Anthony Jones, who was sought by police for allegedly stabbing 17-year-old Wendell Heard once in the chest, turned himself in at 8 a.m. yesterday at police headquarters. Jones, who lives with his parents at 909 Fourth St. NE, was accompanied by his attorney Robert Mance.
Jones was arraigned in D.C. Superior Court late yesterday. Commissioner Pamela Young set his bond at $7,500. A pretrial hearing has been set for Nov. 12.
Homicide detectives have said that Heard apparently was stabbed after an argument over another man's girlfriend inside Celebrity Hall, a popular and controversial go-go music club on Georgia Avenue NW, where hundreds of District teen-agers go to concerts each weekend.
According to court records, two men approached Heard inside Celebrity Hall shortly before a late-night concert ended on Oct. 25. An argument ensued, continued outside and became a fight in the middle of Georgia Avenue, records said. Jones allegedly pulled a knife, stabbed Heard once in the chest, then fled.
Police said their investigation into the incident had been slowed because teen-agers outside the hall when the fight occurred claimed to have seen nothing. But police issued a warrant for Jones' arrest after witnesses gave police his name and identified his neighborhood.
Mance said homicide detectives attempted to speak to Jones at his home last week, but were unable to do so. Mance said Jones' father contacted him shortly afterward, and said they decided to meet with police yesterday morning.
"My client knew there was a warrant out, and he wanted to get it taken care of as soon as possible," Mance said. He declined to discuss the case, but said Jones will plead not guilty.
Heard's slaying, the latest in a series of violent incidents outside of go-go music halls this year, prompted D.C. Council member Frank Smith Jr. (D-Ward 1) to suggest the club be closed.
Smith, citing previous shootings and stabbings that have occurred outside of Celebrity Hall after weekend go-go concerts, said the club creates a dangerous public nuisance.
At a news conference two days after the slaying, Celebrity Hall owner Andrew Richeson, who opened the club in 1985, said that the club offers a safe, drug-free environment for youths and that the neighborhood surrounding the club has long been beset with crime.
Richeson also criticized 4th District police for offering no protection outside the hall when concerts end.
Capt. William White III, a police department spokesman, disputed Richeson's claim, saying that police have shifted working hours to accommodate the club's concerts, which usually do not end until 3 a.m. He also said that two patrol cars were in the area at the time of the slaying.
Police said that Heard's slaying is the first outside of a go-go music hall. In April, 11 youths were shot outside of the Acacia Masonic Temple, a dance hall in Northwest. One month later, four youths were shot as they left a concert in the Panorama Room, a go-go music hall in Anacostia.