Navar Beverly laid his head next to the body of the stepfather he had just strangled, snapped a photo with his phone and posted the selfie to Twitter, according to police.
He later approached his mother with the news.
“I told you I would do it,” he said, before revealing that her husband’s lifeless body was in the garage.
He then fled the family’s Maryland home, leading police on a short chase in a minivan before he was apprehended and charged with first-degree murder in the fatal strangulation of Ronald Francis Pinkney, 67.
As law enforcement continues to investigate the killing of Pinkney on Friday, they’re also examining whether mental health issues played into the case and are reviewing Beverly’s extensive criminal record that spans decades across the Washington region and includes a prior murder conviction.
Prince George’s County District Court Judge Clayton Aarons ordered Beverly, 38, of Bowie, jailed until trial without the possibility of release during his first court appearance Monday. As the hearing ended, Beverly, who appeared via a closed-circuit television connection, interrupted court with an outburst.
“Ain’t no one answer to the law but me!” Beverly yelled. “Only one person got hit by a satellite and that person is me!”
Officers found Pinkney dead, with bruising on his neck and an eye injury, about 8 a.m. Saturday at his home in the 15000 block of Dalby Court in Bowie, court records show. Pinkney’s wife called 911 and reported “[my] son had killed my husband,” charging papers said. Beverly declared to his mother that Pinkney was “dead in the garage,” before fleeing the scene, the documents say.
Police tracked Beverly, and a brief car and foot chase ensued before officers apprehended him.
Beverly posted photos of himself with his stepfather’s body on social media about 8:30 p.m. Friday, about 12 hours before police were called to the home, court documents state. Twitter later removed the images.
Beverly and Pinkney had a history of domestic violence, according to police and court records, with officers visiting the family’s home two months earlier for an incident. In that case, Beverly had Pinkney in a chokehold until someone intervened, court charging papers say.
“I told him he has to leave the house by Friday if he isn’t willing to get help,” Pinkney wrote in February in a protective order against his stepson. “That’s when he [grabbed] me and started to choke me and threw me to the ground.”
After Pinkney filed for the protective order, sheriff’s deputies and Bowie police visited the home at least five times in an attempt to serve a warrant on Beverly or enforce the order but weren’t able to reach him, Prince George’s County Chief Assistant Sheriff Darrin C. Palmer said.
Almost two months later, Pinkney requested the protective order rescinded, saying he and Beverly had talked, come to an agreement and “apology made.”
“I would like for him to visit,” Pinkney wrote. A judge denied Pinkney’s request to pull back the order.
Beverly has an extensive criminal record that includes cases in which a murder charge was part of the allegation, court records show.
Beverly had been charged with murder in 1996 — when he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of assault — and in 2000 — when the entire case was dropped, court records indicate. In a 2004 case in the county, he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to six years in prison.
It’s unclear why the remaining murder charges were not pursued in court and what the circumstances of the cases were. Given the dates of the cases, the court files were not available for review immediately on Monday.
Authorities are in the process of reviewing Beverly’s extensive criminal history and the past homicide charges, said John Erzen, a spokesman for the county state’s attorney’s office.
“Clearly what it appears we have here is someone with a lengthy criminal record,” said Erzen, who added that the dropped murder cases predate the current administration of the state’s attorney’s office.
Beverly may also have a history of mental-health issues, according to online court records. In a 2016 case in which he was charged in an attempted purse snatching at a Dunkin’ Donuts, Beverly initially entered a plea of “not criminally responsible,” Maryland’s version of an insanity plea. A judge ordered a mental-health evaluation for Beverly, but about a month later, Beverly pleaded guilty to theft.
Online court records do not indicate an attorney for Beverly in Pinkney’s slaying, and a woman who answered the door at the family’s home declined to speak to a reporter Monday.
In the cul-de-sac of well-kept homes where Pinkney lived, neighbors remembered him as someone with a big spirit and who was always eager to lend a hand.
A memorial of balloons and flowers sprung up outside the family’s home, where neighbors scrawled messages of love for Pinkney on a green poster board.
“You were always a joy to learn from and laugh with,” said one message.
“The community will greatly miss your presence,” another said.
Neighbor Sang Nahm said Pinkney was thoughtful, always offering to help shovel snow or with other chores.
Once, when Pinkney spotted Nahm’s elderly mother doing lawn work, Pinkney ushered her back into the house and took care of the work himself, she said.
Nahm said the case is shocking for all involved.
“I feel bad about his wife,” Nahm said. “Poor woman. She lost her husband and, in a way, she lost her son.”