Man killed with a hatchet in Gaithersburg -- Gazette.Net


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This story was updated at 1:46 p.m. May 24, 2013.

The son of a former policy adviser to President George W. Bush has been arrested and accused of killing another man with a hatchet at his father’s home in Gaithersburg.

At about 12:09 a.m. today, Montgomery County police responded to a reported burglary at a home in the 7217 Cliff Pine Drive in Gaithersburg. The caller, a man, reported that someone had tried to break into the home and that he had killed him.

In the course of their investigation, police learned that there never was a burglary at the home and the caller and the victim knew each other, according to police spokeswoman Angela Cruz.

Police discovered the body of Michael P. Harvey, 25, of an unconfirmed address, in a wooded area behind the home, and detectives determined that a hatchet was used in the slaying. The man was killed inside the house, according to Montgomery County Police Capt. James Daly Jr.

The suspect, Claude Alexander Allen, 20 of 7217 Cliff Pine Drive, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, according to court records. Allen’s bond hearing has not yet been scheduled.

The house where the crime allegedly was committed is owned by Claude A. Allen and Jannese M. Allen, according to county land records. A call to the house Friday was not answered.

The elder Allen was arrested and charged in 2006 with making $5,000 of phony refunds to Target and Hecht stores, when he had been serving as a top domestic policy adviser to President George W. Bush. He pleaded guilty in the case against him. Allen spent a career working in the highest echelons of government. He served as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, secretary of Virginia’s Health and Human Resources and worked in Virginia’s Attorney General’s Office from 1995 to 1998, according to White House records. Bush also nominated him in 2003 for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond, but his bid was sidelined in the U.S. Senate.

Daly said an additional person was in the house at the time of the crime. That person was not related to the suspect. There was no additional information available about the person.

Major Crimes Division detectives are still investigating the death.

A purple tent ahad been set up in the backyard of Allen’s single-family brick residence.

The house is in northeast Gaithersburg, near Laytonsville.

Daly said it was unusual to receive a call for a major crime in the area.

“There are not many calls for service in this area,” Daly said.

Mavra Diadadis, a neighbor who has lived on the street 22 years said she knows the family. She said they are very kind people.

“Sometimes kids get involved in stupid things and the parents don’t know,” she said.Staff Writer St. John Barned-Smith contributed to this report.