Wednesday, June 25, 2008

More charged in Gaithersburg homicide

Investigators waited to charge witnesses to April shooting in hopes of getting more information

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Montgomery County Police delayed the arrest and charging of two suspects in the homicide of a Gaithersburg woman for two months in an effort to gain more information from them, a police investigator said Tuesday.

Lt. Michael Mancuso said police interviewed two witnesses soon after the April 13 robbery and shooting death of Lindsay Marie Harvey. The witnesses, Anthony S. Moore, 16, and Aaron M. Shepherd, 19, both of Gaithersburg, were arrested and charged June18 with first-degree murder, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Both are being held without bail.

In Montgomery County District Court on Thursday, Adam Harris, the public defender representing both defendants, asked the judge to set a monetary bond.

Shepherd’s father, who would not identify himself, asked the judge to set a bail amount that would allow his son to leave jail.

‘‘He lives with me and at this time we really need him at home,” he said in court, adding that his son is a student at Montgomery College.

Mancuso said Tuesday that police believe that there are no other suspects in the case.

Mancuso said Moore and Shepherd told investigators during an interview April 14 that they were involved in the robbery. At that time, police were gathering information about another defendant, Shawn M. Henderson, 25, of Landover, who is accused in police charging documents filed in court of conceiving the robbery and shooting Harvey. Henderson was indicted May 2 on first-degree murder, use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence and robbery with a dangerous or deadly weapon. He was arrested on April 15.

Mancuso said police continued their investigation, hoping that Moore and Shepherd would provide more information.

‘‘We did initially interview them and we were aware of their involvement and we were trying to get additional information and additional cooperation with them during that time,” Mancuso said. ‘‘After additional consultation with the State’s Attorney, we decided to make the charge now.”

Mancuso called the death of Harvey, 25, a DNA analyst for the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory in Rockville, ‘‘one of the most senseless murders I’ve seen in a long time.”

Harvey died of a single gunshot wound to the head. Her body was found next to a Dumpster outside the Grove Park Apartments where she lived. According to charging documents citing statements from Shepherd and Moore, Henderson approached them at a gathering in the Grove Park Apartments during the late evening and early morning hours of April 12 and April 13. He held a semi-automatic handgun and told the others he intended to rob an unspecified person, according to the documents.

The charging documents say Moore and Shepherd took their hooded jackets with them to conceal their identities and accompanied Henderson to the 700 block of Quince Orchard Boulevard, where the three approached a female walking toward the Dumpster in the parking lot. Moore, Shepherd and other witnesses told police they heard a female yell ‘‘get away from me, no” followed by the sound of a single gunshot, according to the charging documents.

Moore and Shepherd returned to the gathering and told those present that Henderson shot someone, according to the charging documents.

Mancuso said police decided to seek murder and robbery charges against Moore and Shepherd, despite comments they made suggesting their participation in the crime wasn’t as deep as Henderson’s.

‘‘We do know they were involved in it and they participated in the robbery,” Mancuso said. ‘‘There is an indication they did not know Henderson was going to shoot and murder the victim. But they also didn’t come forward and we had to go and find them. They didn’t initially offer full cooperation.”