Within 90 minutes of Timothy Spicer’s getting carjacked and fatally shot outside the Anacostia Metro station in November 2007, police had tracked down his stolen black Chevrolet Caprice with chrome rims, and caught a potential suspect.
Police questioned Randolph Williams, then in his teens, but said they had no evidence at that time to link him to the killing of the 25-year-old short-order cook at Ben’s Chili Bowl in Northwest Washington. A detective noted that while detained, Williams had a pair of sunglasses.
It took seven years for D.C. police to link those sunglasses to Spicer.
For reasons not explained by police or in an arrest affidavit, detectives in 2014 searched Spicer’s phone. It was among his personal effects catalogued at Howard University Hospital, where he was taken after he was shot and where he died. Police did not say whether the phone had been examined earlier.
On the phone, police said they found a photograph of Spicer wearing what an arrest affidavit says appeared to be the same sunglasses that Williams, known as Mook, had with him when he was first questioned in the case in 2007.
With the new evidence about the killing, police again questioned Williams. Over the next two years, detectives got additional information from witnesses and linked a second suspect to the slaying through DNA found on a black baseball hat discarded along with car keys near the long-ago recovered Caprice.
On Tuesday, interim D.C. police chief Peter Newsham said members of a fugitive unit had arrested Williams and Kadeem Quarles, both 25 and from Southeast Washington, and charged each with first-degree murder while armed. Police said Tuesday night that Maurice Blakey, 25, of Southeast Washington, had been arrested in the case on the same charge.
Spicer’s mother could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Police said in the arrest affidavit that Williams admitted to being at the Anacostia Metro station at the time of the killing, but the affidavit does not say whether he discussed the crimes with detectives or explained why he had the sunglasses.
Quarles denied involvement in the killing, the court papers say. Asked how his DNA got on a hat that fell off the person that police said had been driving Spicer’s vehicle, he told detectives that “he has lots of hats and gives them away.”
The affidavit says that police questioned Quarles while he was held at the D.C. jail, and that they recorded phone conversations he had shortly after the interviews in which he discussed the killing. In one conversation with a woman, police said, Quarles blamed his co-defendant, Williams, “for snitching.”
Police said they gathered additional information between 2014 and 2016, including other witnesses’ accounts, and concluded that four or five men had conspired to rob Spicer at the Metro station. All were friends who grew up in the Barry Farm neighborhood.
One man told police that he had his girlfriend lure Spicer to the station, according to the affidavit, and the men then robbed him. Several told police Spicer was shot twice with a .38-caliber revolver during a fight over the vehicle.
Spicer was known as a jokester who loved cars and girls, and had started working at age 16 as a bus boy at Ben’s Chili Bowl before moving up to staff the griddle. He also had written rap lyrics and designed T-shirts, and he had wanted to start his own clothing line.