D.C. police arrested a Washington man yesterday in the gunshot slaying of Deborah Ann Davis, a cousin of Police Chief Isaac Fulwood Jr. Davis was killed July 26 while recovering from a shooting the month before.

Detectives served a warrant in the early morning hours to Reginald William Winfield, 20, of the 700 block of 12th Street SE, charging him with first-degree murder. By late afternoon he had been presented in D.C. Superior Court and was being held without bond to await trial.

Davis, 38, the mother of six children, was gunned down in a parking lot at 12th and G streets SE the same evening she testified to a grand jury about her previous assault.

It was not clear yesterday whether prosecutors would seek to link the two assaults. Before she died in July, Davis identified Edward Leroy Huff, 24, of Southeast Washington, and Freddie Artis, 31, of Hyattsville, as the men who kidnapped her on June 26, stabbed her, shot her and left her for dead in a park in Chillum.

Prince George's County authorities "were forced to drop the charges" against Huff and Artis, Assistant State's Attorney John Smathers said yesterday, because "she was our only witness, and the law doesn't allow us to present her previous testimony in court, since it's hearsay."

Law enforcement sources had identified Huff as a suspect in the fatal second shooting of Davis, but Huff was not charged in the slaying.

Diane S. Lepley, Winfield's attorney, said yesterday that she does not know whether Winfield knows Huff or Artis.

"The defendant maintains his innocence," she said. "Obviously we intend to investigate the people who have been mentioned in newspaper articles."

A police affidavit in support of Winfield's arrest alleged that a witness identified Winfield from a photo array as the man who approached Davis, "said where is my money, and shot the decedent several times."

In a bond hearing yesterday before Superior Court Commissioner John W. King, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Andary said Winfield had two loaded pistols "right next to his bed on the nightstand" when detectives arrived to arrest him. The weapons, he said, will be tested against the bullets that killed Davis.

King refused a request for bail.