The Washington Post

Four charged in killing were looking for money, police say

Four people charged with killing a man in Prince George’s County earlier this week were searching for money they thought was hidden on the victim’s property in Brandywine, but found only $590, according to a police charging document filed in court Friday.

The details provided by police offer the first motive divulged in the attack that left 55-year-old Alphonso Drew dead in his home in the 12900 block of Old Indian Head Road. But authorities do not say why the suspects, all from the District, thought there was money there, and how they knew of the victim.

Police announced the arrests Thursday night. Charged with first and second degree murder, assault and theft are: Moshawn Tianno Magruder, 20, of the 5300 block of Clay Terrace NE; Eric Donte Johnson, and his twin sister, Erica Shonte Johnson, both 20, of the 4500 block of Dix St. NE; and Antonio Garland Johnson, 19, of the 3100 block of 15th Place SE. It could not be determined whether Antonio Johnson is related to the others.

Magruder and Antonio Johnson were being held with out bail at the Prince George’s County Detention Center. The Johnson twins were being held in the District awaiting extradition to Maryland.

Drew’s body was found Sunday , after police had responded to a call to the home to check whether the occupant was okay. No other details of the call were provided. Police said in the charging document that officers found Drew suffering from trauma. An autopsy determined he had been beaten in the head and body.

Police said they identified suspects through cell phone records, but did not elaborate. The charging document states that one of the suspects told police about the plans to rob the victim and identified others involved.

The court papers say that Drew was attacked as he walked out of his home and that the suspect’s ransacked his house, cars and shed “in an effort to located money they believed the victim was hiding.”

Relatives of the suspects and the victim could not be reached on Friday.

Peter Hermann covers crime for The Washington Post.

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