Sec­ond Man Charged In Death of En­gi­neer

County Po­lice Say Sus­pect Was Gun­man

The Washington Post - - Maryland | The District - By Nelson Her­nan­dez and Can­dace Ron­deaux

Fif­teen months af­ter a well­known mu­sic en­gi­neer was fa­tally shot by men who were us­ing a tow truck to steal his car from out­side his home in Lake Ar­bor, Prince Ge­orge’s County po­lice say they have caught the gun­man.

A po­lice spokesman said yes­ter­day that Ja­maal G. Alexis, 21, of Capi­tol Heights was ar­rested and charged Tues­day with the Oc­to­ber 2006 slay­ing of Ray­mond Brown, known by many in the mu­sic in­dus­try by his pro­fes­sional name, Scot­tie Beats.

The first-de­gree mur­der charge against Alexis fol­lows the April 10 ar­rest of Neiman M. Ed­monds, 20, of Up­per Marl­boro, who was charged with sec­ond­de­gree mur­der in the case. Cpl. Stephen Pacheco, a po­lice spokesman, said Alexis is thought to have shot Brown.

Pacheco said the case is still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion. He de­clined to clar­ify the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two sus­pects, other than to say they are ac­quain­tances. He also de­clined to say how they had gained ac­cess to the tow truck or whether they were be­ing charged with ve­hi­cle theft.

Law en­force­ment sources familiar with the case said in­ves­ti­ga­tors think that the as­sailants stole the truck from a county tow op­er­a­tor hours be­fore the shoot­ing and that at least five men were in­volved. The sources, who spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause of the sen­si­tiv­ity of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, said of­fi­cials have a lead on at least one other sus­pect.

Danielle Steele Brown said she was re­lieved by the ar­rest af­ter spend­ing “a lot of ag­o­niz­ing, painful, lonely, dev­as­tat­ing, sleep­less nights” re­liv­ing her hus­band’s shoot­ing, which un­folded as she stood a short dis­tance away.

“I loved my hus­band very much,” she said yes­ter­day. “It is a huge, huge weight off of my shoul­ders that this man is in cus­tody.”

The shoot­ing shocked many in the quiet, mid­dle-class neigh­bor­hood where Brown, 36, lived. The han­dling of a 911 call from Brown led to three emer­gency com­mu­ni­ca­tions work­ers be­ing placed on ad­min­is­tra­tive leave. An in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed that they had ap­par­ently treated the in­ci­dent as a re­pos­ses­sion and not fol­lowed pro­ce­dure.

The in­ci­dent be­gan Oct. 13, 2006, when Brown saw men in a tow truck at­tempt­ing to steal his Chrysler 300. Brown called 911 to re­port that his car was be­ing towed, but dis­patch­ers told him to call back later.

Pacheco said Brown went out­side and fol­lowed the truck in an­other ve­hi­cle. Steele Brown said they had gone to the en­trance of a com­plex to find in­for­ma­tion about any tow com­pa­nies op­er­at­ing in the neigh­bor­hood.

Steele Brown said they saw the tow truck stopped near the en­trance at the 11000 block of South­lake Drive, a few hun­dred yards from Brown’s home in the 600 block of Still­wa­ter Place.

“There was a man stand­ing out­side,” Steele Brown said. “We had no idea there was any­one in the truck. We thought the per­son out­side was the tow truck driver. [Brown] ap­proached him, he got out of the pas­sen­ger side and ap­proached him, and asked him, ‘Why are you tow­ing my car?’ Be­fore he could com­plete his ques­tion, that’s when the gun­fire came from the tow truck.”

Brown, shot in the chest, crum­pled to the ground. The sus­pects fled. Brown was taken to a hospi­tal, where he was pro­nounced dead.

Pacheco said Alexis was the driver of the tow truck and Ed­monds was in a sec­ond ve­hi­cle.

Alexis has no record of crim­i­nal con­vic­tions in Mary­land, ac­cord­ing to a state data­base. Ed­monds was in­dicted on an auto theft charge in Jan­uary 2006; the charge was dropped.

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