The Washington Post

Md. man charged with witness retaliation after soliciting a hitman via letter, authorities say

A Fort Washington man awaiting trial in connection with a car chase that killed a Prince George’s County police officer was indicted Thursday, accused of trying kill a witness set to testify against him next month, authorities said.

Maryland state prosecutors believe 24-year-old Kevon Neal sent a letter from jail trying to solicit a hit against a witness who had already testified against Neal in January, officials with the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office said. That witness is expected to testify against Neal again in June after the January trial ended in a mistrial.

Neal already faces manslaughter and other charges after authorities accused him and another man of stealing a car and fleeing from police in the summer of 2012. Officer Adrian Morris, 23, pursued the suspects from a gas station down to Interstate 95, but he lost control of his cruiser and swerved off into a ravine. He was thrown from his vehicle and died shortly after the crash.

Prosecutors plan to consolidate the witness retaliation charges Neal is facing with the previous charges connected to Morris’s death, officials with the State’s Attorney’s Office said. Neal’s trial is set for June. 9

This will not be the only time this year that Prince George’s will have to deal with jailed inmates accused of trying to kill witnesses. In October, 22-year-old Brian Mayhew goes to trial on first-degree murder and witness retaliation charges. Authorities accuse Mayhew of making a series of jailhouse phone calls to order the execution of his uncle who was to testify in Mayhew’s double-murder trial.

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Lynh Bui is a Prince George's County public safety reporter and former Montgomery County education reporter.

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