THE DISTRICT

SW Man Arrested in Murder Case

A Southwest Washington man was arrested yesterday, nearly nine months after he allegedly bungled an armed robbery and killed his target, police said.

Marvin Louis Fennell, 22, was charged with the felony murder of Timothy DeLoatch, who was shot April 12 in the 1400 block of Canal Street NW, police said.

Fennell was arrested yesterday in the 2200 block of Adams Place NE, investigators said.

Head of Investigations for 6th District After almost a week without a lieutenant to head investigations, the 6th Police District has filled the chair left empty by Chief Charles H. Ramsey's shakeup, police said.

Lt. Andy Solberg will be in charge of violent crime and other investigations, replacing Lt. Robert Tate, who was bumped to street patrol last week, Executive Assistant Chief Terrance W. Gainer said.

Ramsey, displeased with the detective work done on December's double murder of two teens in Southeast, removed Tate from his position and replaced him with a captain. Capt. Peter Newsham, however, was promoted Wednesday to commander of the 2nd District. Solberg said he will officially take over the 6th District post Sunday, planning to "learn as he goes along."

MARYLAND

Babysitter Indicted on Assault Charges

A Montgomery County grand jury indicted yesterday a 31-year-old babysitter accused of sexually assaulting and smothering a 13-month child in August.

Timothy Conrad Phillips, of no fixed address, was indicted on one count of murder, three counts of child abuse by a custodian, two counts of second-degree sex offense and one count of a third-degree sex offense. Trial dates have not been set.

On Aug. 27, Phillips, who had been caring for Amani Renee Robinson, called paramedics to the child's mother's Rockville apartment, saying the baby had drowned in the bathtub, officials have said.

When paramedics arrived, they found that neither the bathtub nor the child's hair was wet.

A medical examiner determined that Amani had been sexually abused, and ruled her death a homicide.

On the day the girl died, Phillips turned himself into officials on an unrelated theft charge. Phillips has been held at the Montgomery County Detention Center in lieu of $250,000 bond since September, when he was charged with sexual assault. He was formally charged with murder last month.

Officials have said Phillips is the leading suspect in the death of Andre Whitworth, 2, who was found unconscious after being in Phillips's care in January 1997. Andre's death was also ruled a homicide, but no one has been charged.

2 Sought in Armed Robberies of Banks

Federal and Maryland investigators are trying to find two armed robbers suspected of hitting three area banks in recent weeks, officials said yesterday.

The first known appearance of the robbers came Dec. 20, at the First Union Bank in the Leisure World Shopping Center in Silver Spring, Montgomery County police said. On Dec. 27, the robbers struck the Allfirst Bank on Crabbs Branch Way, and on Tuesday, they robbed the Bank of America in the Laurel Lakes Center in Laurel.

In each case, the robbers hid their faces with masks, screamed profanities and waved a handgun as they made their demands. Police did not disclose the amount of money stolen in the incidents.

Preston Man Charged in Explosion

A Preston man has been charged with manufacturing and using a destructive device after an investigation of an explosion in a wooded area in Easton, Md.

John Howard Johnson, 22, was arrested Wednesday. He was arraigned in Talbot County District Court and released on $5,000 bond.

Authorities were called Monday night to the 7200 block of Francis Street after residents reported a suspicious vehicle. After they arrived, police heard an explosion in a wooded area.

Minutes later, Johnson was seen running from the woods, according to Allen Gosnell, a spokesman for the Maryland State Fire Marshal's office. State fire officials and agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms combed the woods and found nothing, but a search of Johnson's car yielded components used to make bombs.