Indictment in Howard student’s 2013 slaying

A little more than a year after a Howard University student was fatally shot, his accused killer has been indicted by a grand jury in connection with the murder.

A D.C. Superior Court grand jury last week indicted Rasdavid Lagarde, 26, on eight counts, including first-degree murder while armed and robbery while armed, in the July 4, 2013, fatal shooting of Omar Sykes, 22, a senior business marketing major at Howard, as well as an assault on one of Sykes’s classmates who was with him that evening.

At a hearing Friday, Lagarde stood next to his attorney, Wendell Robinson, and pleaded not guilty to the charges. Judge Lynn Leibovitz set a Nov. 10 trial date. Prosecutor Shana Fulton said no plea offer has been made but declined to elaborate.

Lagarde, wearing a D.C. jail jumpsuit and with his wrists and ankles in shackles, smiled and shook his head as the prosecutor spoke.

According to court documents, Lagarde told a D.C. police homicide detective that he was “drunk, down on his luck and broke” when he and a friend saw Sykes walking along Fairmont Street NW with a classmate late that night, court papers say. Sykes and his friend had returned from watching the downtown fireworks display. Lagarde, who had a .380-caliber gun, said his friend suggested robbing the pair.

Lagarde told police that during the robbery attempt, he and Sykes wrestled for the gun and it went off, court papers say. Authorities said Sykes was shot once in the chest. No information has been released as to whether the friend Lagarde was allegedly with at the time of the incident has been identified or arrested.

— Keith L. Alexander

Blaze damages Bowie townhouse

An intense fire blazed through the roof of a townhouse in the Bowie area of Prince George’s County late Saturday afternoon, authorities said.

No injuries were reported in the blaze in the 13900 block of Grenfell Place, said county fire department spokesman Mark E. Brady.

However, it damaged three houses and displaced five adults and five children, he said.

He said heavy fire was reported on the top floor, with part of the house appearing to collapse. At one point, Brady said, structural instability in the three-story house prompted officials to evacuate firefighters from the building.

Brady said the blaze appeared to start on a rear deck and spread up an outer wall.

— Martin Weil

Two men shot during argument in Annapolis

Two men were shot and wounded Friday afternoon in Annapolis, city police said.

The two men were in a car in a parking lot in the 1300 block of Tyler Avenue, police said. After an argument broke out, shots were fired into the vehicle, wounding both men, police said.

The car then crashed into a tree. Reginald Butler, 25, and Reno Green, 24, both of Annapolis, were taken to a hospital for treatment, police said.

— Martin Weil