A deputy U.S. marshal charged with murder in the shooting of a man after a traffic dispute in Montgomery County last week was denied bail yesterday after prosecutors alleged in court that he has shown a "pattern of violent tendencies."
As the deputy, Arthur L. Lloyd, 53, appeared in District Court via closed-circuit TV, Deputy State's Attorney John J. McCarthy said Lloyd's son and wife told authorities in the past that he assaulted them. McCarthy also said Lloyd has been disciplined repeatedly by the U.S. Marshals Service for various infractions.
McCarthy said that in one of the incidents, in 1985, Lloyd bound the hands and feet of a prisoner in a cell and alternately verbally abused the man and read passages to him from the Bible. Lloyd paid a $10,000 settlement to the prisoner in a lawsuit, he said.
Lloyd, a 28-year member of the Marshals Service, fired four shots at Ryan T. Stowers, 20, in a shopping center parking lot off Rockville Pike the night of Oct. 28, after the two had a traffic altercation and then a fistfight, police and witnesses said. Two of the bullets hit Stowers, a Navy seaman, authorities said. They said the shot that killed him struck him in the upper back after he had returned to his car and was driving away.
Police interviewed more than 40 witnesses. McCarthy said yesterday that 16 people called 911 to report the altercation, including Stowers, who was shot in his right leg before he got back in his car. Stowers repeatedly said to the 911 dispatcher, "I can't believe he shot me," McCarthy said.
Defense attorneys said yesterday that Lloyd, charged with first-degree murder and other offenses, is a devoted public servant with a long history of volunteering in his community.
"He had absolutely no intention of killing anybody in the night in question," said Stefanie Roemer, an attorney for Lloyd. "If anything, Mr. Lloyd exercised restraint in the face of what was a dangerous situation."
Lloyd was with his wife, Wanda Guzman Lloyd, 29, and five children in a sport-utility vehicle when the incident began. Roemer said Lloyd was attempting to arrest Stowers for assaulting a federal officer -- himself -- and was acting to protect his safety and his family's.
Defense attorneys asked District Court Judge Brian G. Kim to set bail for Lloyd, who appeared wearing a green jailhouse jumpsuit, but the judge refused, ordering the deputy to remain in the Montgomery jail pending further legal proceedings.
McCarthy said Lloyd's wife had obtained two restraining orders against her husband, including one in which she alleged that Lloyd "broke the kitchen door with her head." McCarthy said that in one application for a restraining order, Wanda Lloyd said her husband told her "he can do whatever he wants because he is a U.S. marshal."
Lloyd's son, Aamir H. Lloyd, called 911 in 1999 and told police he suffered cuts to his face, "apparently from being thrown through a window" by Lloyd, McCarthy said.
The restraining orders were dropped, and Lloyd was never charged with a crime, according to court records.
David Sacks, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service, declined to comment on Lloyd. "Any previous disciplinary actions or internal affairs actions that this agency may have performed on Mr. Lloyd, I'm prohibited to disclose those," he said.
Another spokesman, Don Hines, said a deputy is required to report "an allegation of misconduct or a criminal violation of the law" to an immediate supervisor. But Hines could not say whether Lloyd reported any of his encounters with authorities over the alleged assaults.
Lloyd had been locked in a legal battle with his bosses at the Office of the U.S. Marshal in federal court in Washington for more than a decade, court records show.
He filed two equal employment opportunity complaints against his bosses in the early 1990s, and he filed a racial discrimination and retaliation lawsuit in 1997 when he was not promoted. He won a $36,000 award from a jury in 2001. Lloyd claimed that his bosses denied him job promotions and overtime as retaliation for earlier complaints.
The government argued in court filings and at trial that Lloyd was not promoted because he was not a high-performing employee and had a shoddy attendance record. Lloyd also had been suspended for a year, records show.
Last month Lloyd was still trying to negotiate with his bosses for a transfer, retroactive pay and his promotion.
Staff researcher Bobbye Pratt contributed to this report.