A Northwest Washington man charged with second-degree murder, who walked away from a halfway house last week, was arrested yesterday while waiting to board a bus to Ocean City, Md.
Shane S. DeLeon, 45, was found shortly before 8 a.m. at the Greyhound bus station at First and L streets NE after a man who was in the halfway house with him recognized him and alerted two D.C. police officers headed for traffic court, police said.
The officers followed the man back to the bus station, approached DeLeon and asked for identification. DeLeon was charged with escape and taken into police custody.
"You're kidding?" asked Kathleen O'Dell, mother of Matthew O'Dell, the American University student DeLeon is accused of killing in a hit-and-run accident. "God love him. I was hoping something like that would happen. Tell me my Matty doesn't have a guardian angel."
Wearing a white T-shirt and khaki pants, DeLeon stood with his hands clasped in front of him and his head bowed during the brief hearing before D.C. Superior Court Judge Patricia A. Wynn. He was ordered held without bond in the D.C. jail for violating the terms of his release and for posing a flight risk. Wynn said she will review the case at a July 7 hearing.
DeLeon is awaiting trial for the Jan. 28 death of O'Dell, a college freshman, who was rollerblading with a friend along Nebraska Avenue. DeLeon allegedly struck O'Dell with his Ford Ranger. The impact hurled O'Dell 30 feet before he hit a tree and landed on the concrete pavement. Witnesses said the driver didn't slow down or brake.
DeLeon has a history of drunken driving and reportedly drank four glasses of beer before the accident. He was arrested April 8 after an investigation police described as bungled.
DeLeon, who lives in the 4600 block of MacArthur Boulevard with a friend, was jailed for a week before being released and placed in the District's intensive supervision program run by the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency. He was not allowed to drink or drive and was required to submit to Breathalyzer and drug tests. Trustee Jay Carver, who oversees the agency, declined to release the results of DeLeon's tests.
DeLeon also was supposed to be home from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. but violated that curfew at least twice in May and was placed in the District-run halfway house on New York Avenue NE for two weeks. He missed his curfew again last week and was returned to the halfway house June 21 before walking away the next day.
"I knew all along he wasn't a candidate for a halfway house," Kathleen O'Dell said yesterday. "Common sense should have told them that. The judge should have egg on her face."
DeLeon was allowed to leave the halfway house for 16 hours a day to remodel his friend's basement. The friend, Tracy Power, said yesterday that she was relieved DeLeon was safe.
"We're all happy to know he's alive," said Power, who shares a home with DeLeon. "But I don't know whether turning himself in is the best thing for him or not."
Kathleen O'Dell said she hopes DeLeon remains in jail until the trial, which could start within the next couple of months.
"I'll feel really good when someone says to me he's in jail till then," she said. "I'll rest a little easier."
Staff writer Peter Slevin contributed to this report.