The District man charged in Wednesday’s fatal carjacking of a 68-year-old retired Safeway worker was on pre-trial release from jail in connection with another case in which D.C. police spotted him in a pick-up truck allegedly stolen at gunpoint, court files show.
Demarko Wheeler, 24, of the 2000 block of Stanton Road SE, was arrested Sunday and charged in Maryland with first- and second-degree murder in the shooting of 68-year-old Alonzo Jackson as Jackson was pumping gas around 7 a.m. Wednesday in the 4900 block of Marlboro Pike in Capitol Heights. His black 2015 Dodge Charger was taken from the gas station and was later found burned and abandoned in the District.
Wheeler, who county officials said was 20 when they announced his arrest, stood in front of a D.C. Superior Court judge Monday and was told Maryland officials planned to extradite him within three days to Prince George’s County to face charges in the shooting death of Jackson.
On July 13, Wheeler had been arrested in connection with a stolen-car case in the District.
Wheeler was arrested after police found him inside a pick-up truck that officers stopped after they said it ran a stop sign in the 1700 block of Savannah Street SE, records in the arrest state. Police discovered that the pick-up truck had been stolen from its owner a day earlier, they said in court files.
The truck owner told D.C. police his assailant had approached him in the early-morning hours and brandished a gun, according to court records. When police stopped Wheeler after allegedly running the stop sign, according to court documents, he told the officers the truck belonged to his grandfather.
Wheeler was scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 25 on a charge of unauthorized use of a vehicle as detectives continued to determine who brandished the gun in that incident.
As a condition of Wheeler’s release from jail in the July 13 case, D.C. Magistrate Judge Renee Raymond — the same judge whom Wheeler stood before Monday — ordered Wheeler to return to court for his next hearing and to also undergo a mental evaluation.
After Wednesday’s fatal shooting of Jackson, county police had posted a brief video clip online Friday of a man they described as a suspect in the killing. They also said that a $25,000 reward was being offered and said that a citizen tip had helped lead to the arrest of Wheeler.
Wheeler is expected to appear in Prince George’s County court by Thursday.
Lynh Bui contributed to this report.