An informant's tip that Ricky Richard Nesbitt, a 25-year-old Alexandria man, owned a green Volvo that he painted black shortly after the fatal shooting of a motorist in Arlington led to Nesbitt being charged with the motorist's slaying.

Nesbitt was indicted Monday on a charge of murdering John P. Green, 39, of 1501 N. Pierce St., Arlington, and was formally charged with the offense by Arlington police yesterday.

Green was returning home from a shooting club outing when he was shot three times by another motorist in the 1000 block of N. Daniel St. shortly after 11 p.m. on July 27, 1984.

Police had no immediate suspects or clues other than an eyewitness' account that Green's red pickup truck appeared to have collided with a late-1970s green Volvo shortly before the shooting.

In the days following the slaying, police stopped drivers of green Volvos, seeking information. Last summer they charged a Silver Spring man with murder after a gun believed used to kill Green was found in his posession, but the charge was later dropped because of insufficient evidence.

According to an affidavit signed by Arlington Detective Steve Carter in support of a search warrant granted in the slaying case earlier this month, an informant, who was unnamed in the document, told police Nesbitt repainted a green Volvo shortly after the shooting.

The informant also said a woman was with Nesbitt the night Green was killed, the affidavit said. Detective Chuck Shelton of the Arlington homicide department and prosecutor Liam O'Grady said the woman is not a suspect.

On. Nov. 8, police went to Nesbitt's home at 5353 Taney Ave., Alexandria, after receiving the informant's tip, and arrested Nesbitt on unrelated drug charges.

Carter said in the affidavit that after Nesbitt was arrested, he asked him if he had a green Volvo on the day of Green's slaying. Nesbitt, the affidavit said, "immediately replied in a defensive fashion, that he owned a Volvo during that time, but that it was black in color."

After Nesbitt mentioned that he reconditions cars at a service center in Brentwood, Arlington police, working with Prince George's County police, had Nesbitt's 1972 Volvo impounded and returned to Arlington to be searched, the affidavit said.

Paint samples are being taken and other tests are being conducted to determine if the car had been dented. Carter said in the affidavit that he found damage to the right front fender that would "correspond with the pattern of damage" on the left side of Green's truck.