The Washington Post

Homicide suspect left his phone by victim, police say


It’s a question many people ask themselves: Where did I leave my cellphone?

For Kajohn Mccombs — at least based on accusation­s filed against him so far — the answer was bad. Police in Maryland say he left his Apple iphone inside the car of a man who was fatally shot in downtown Silver Spring. Investigat­ors used that clue, according to court records, in large part to charge Mccombs with first-degree murder.

The 22-year-old was ordered held without bond Wednesday in the March 5 death of Deandre Keith Ellis, 23.

Mccombs’s cousin — Ahmahd Mccombs, 22 — also has been charged with murder in the case. Investigat­ors say after Ellis was shot twice inside his car, and after the cousins ran out of the vehicle, Ahmahd Mccombs’s phone was used to call Kajohn Mccombs’s phone — an indication the two were searching for it.

Detectives believe “Kajohn realized he could not find his phone, and either he or Ahmahd called his phone to see if they could find it,” investigat­ors asserted in court papers.

Andrew Treske, an attorney who represente­d Kajohn McCombs in court Wednesday, asked that Mccombs be released from custody on house arrest. “What bodes well for Mr. McCombs is he recently started a job as a food-service worker,” Treske said, adding that he could stay at a verified address in Brandywine.

Treske did not address the specific allegation­s in the case. Prosecutor Peter Larson, also speaking in court, noted that Kajohn Mccombs was on probation from conviction­s in two gunrelated cases in D.C.

Court records do not indicate if Ahmahd Mccombs has retained an attorney. He was expected in court Thursday. Family members for Ahmahd and Kajohn Mccombs could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Court records indicate investigat­ors are looking for a third suspect. It’s not clear who they think fired the fatal shots.

About 10:15 p.m. on March 5, Montgomery County’s 911 center received a call from an off-duty D.C. police officer who said there was a man who appeared to be passed out in the driver’s seat of a black Honda Accord. The car was parked on Bonifant Street, near a restaurant, but was still running and with its windshield wipers going, according to court records.

The off-duty officer also noted there appeared to be several bottles of “Lean” in the car, which is the street name for a liquid drink made of codeine and promethazi­ne. Paramedics and police from Montgomery County were summoned.

They found Ellis deceased. He had been shot from behind, with one bullet going through his neck and the other into base of his skull, Larson said in court Wednesday.

A witness told detectives that two men were seen running from the Honda. Surveillan­ce video showed three people running from the car.

Inside the victim’s pocket, investigat­ors say, they found a written prescripti­on ledger with names and several pharmacies, leading them to believe he was getting drugs fraudulent­ly and selling them, according to court records.

Family members of Ellis also couldn’t be reached for comment.

Investigat­ors found two cellphones in the car — one between Ellis’s arm and hip, which they said was his, and a second one on the front passenger floorboard.

That second phone, police assert, was traced to Kajohn McCombs — both through phone records and through Mccombs’s fingerprin­ts lifted off it, according to court filings.

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