The teenager accused of fatally shooting a Friendly High School student at a party in Fort Washington over the weekend had a warrant out for his arrest that went unserved in the week before the killing, according to law enforcement officials familiar with the case.
Akil Ings, 17, failed to show up at a mandatory meeting with his juvenile probation officer on Jan. 8; the officer sought a warrant to bring him in the next day, said two officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because juvenile records are sealed and Ings is a suspect in an ongoing homicide investigation.
A judge signed that warrant on Jan. 14, the officials said.
Ings is now charged as an adult with first-degree murder in what police have called a gang-related slaying late Saturday night into early Sunday morning — nearly a week after the warrant was issued. Police said Ings, a member of the local gang Baby Haiti, fatally shot 16-year-old Marcus Jones, a member of the rival Danger Boys gang, after a dispute at a house party.
Another teen, 19-year-old Kquantae Fisher, is also charged with first-degree murder in the incident, though he is not believed to be the shooter. Police are searching for a third suspect.
Sharon Taylor, a spokeswoman for the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office, said the writ to pick up Ings was first made available for deputies on Jan. 17; such documents, she said are normally entered into the sheriff’s computer system within 48 hours. In this case, though, it was not entered until Thursday, Taylor said.
Sheriff’s officials are exploring why and whether the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend might have caused some sort of snafu, according to Taylor.
“We’ve really worked to make this an accountable system, so the colonel’s going to want to know why this didn’t happen,” said Taylor, referring to a high-ranking sheriff’s department official.
In recent years, the sheriff’s office has been steadily working to whittle down a backlog of warrants and writs, which at one time numbered more than 50,000. The office was under particular pressure to clear the backlog after revelations that a teenager accused of killing a man during a domestic dispute in Forestville in January 2011 was charged with attempted murder in 2009, but sheriff’s deputies did not serve the arrest warrant from that incident until after the recent slaying.
The sheriff’s office recorded a similar incident in August 2010, in which a Seat Pleasant man accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend was charged two weeks earlier with threatening her with a handgun, but deputies never tried to arrest him on the warrant.
Taylor said that even if the writ had been entered soon after Jan. 17, Ings’s case was not flagged as a special priority because “there was absolutely no indication that he was either armed or particularly violent.”
“This was a misdemeanor violation of probation, and although we’re looking to serve these warrants right away, because we were supposed to go and get him, we’re never going to have enough resources to go and get him right away,” she said.