The Washington Post

Man shot in Southeast Washington was on probation in gun case

An Upper Marlboro man who was shot and killedTuesday afternoon in Southeast Washington was on probation in a District gun case and was to be tried in December on a felony drug charge in Prince George’s County.

D.C. Superior Court records show that Joe Roosevelt Richbow, 36, had been arrested three years ago with a silver .44-caliber revolver at the same location in which he was fatally shot earlier this week.

Richbow had pleaded guilty to illegal gun possession and was sentenced to 18 months in prison, which a judge suspended, and put on three years of probation.

D.C. police would not say Wednesday whether they think Richbow’s past had anything to do with his being shot inside an apartment in the 2400 block of Elvans Road SE. But Richbow’s attorney, Billy L. Ponds, said it’s logical that his client’s background could be part of the investigation into his death.

“I think that, given the crime, that’s what they have to ultimately look at,” Ponds said. “Joe was a good human being, despite the fact he had a few cases in the criminal system.”

Richbow’s relatives could not be reached for comment.

One of Richbow’s most serious entanglements with the law came in June 2009 outside an apartment complex on Elvans Road, when members of the D.C. police gun recovery unit stopped a 2007 Dodge Charger.

Court documents say undercover officers saw people in a parked vehicle cradling open cans of beer between their legs. The officer ordered them out, and police said Richbow put his hand to the right side of his waist.

Police said an officer felt “what he knew to be a handgun,” finding one loaded with six rounds of ammunition. Richbow pleaded guilty to the gun charge in November 2010.

In April, a U.S. Park Police officer pulled over a blue Lexus on Suitland Parkway that police said had too dark a tint on the windshield. Charging documents filed in Prince George’s County Circuit Court said the officer found 54 small green bags of marijuana, weighing 66 grams, hidden in Richbow’s groin.

Police charged Richbow with possession of drugs with intent to distribute. A trial on those charges was scheduled for December.

That arrest prompted authorities in the District to charge that Richbow had violated the terms of his probation. During Richbow’s court appearance in D.C. Superior Court last Thursday, another hearing was scheduled for January. Five days later, police said, Richbow was shot and killed.



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