- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 30, 2001

A Prince George's County judge yesterday ordered that two men be held without bond in connection with the June 10 slaying of a couple whose bodies were dumped in Accokeek after a botched carjacking in neighboring Fort Washington.
Circuit Court Judge Gerard Devlin issued the order naming Eric Thomas, 22, and Aaron Hollingsworth, 18. Both are charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Michael Patten, 29, of Waldorf, Md., and Lea Anne Brown, 24, a Navy petty officer stationed at Fort Myer. The couple was found beaten and fatally shot.
Three other men were arraigned on Thursday in connection with the slain couple. Marco Scutchings, 18; Robert Odum Jr., 23; and Cortez Carroll, 22, also were ordered held without bond on first-degree murder charges in that hearing. They await a preliminary hearing on July 26.
Judge Devlin also ordered a sixth man, Paul White, held without bond. Authorities believe Mr. White participated in a carjacking earlier that same night, but was not involved in the attack on Petty Officer Brown and Mr. Patten because he was injured in a traffic accident.
Police believe Mr. White drove the vehicle taken from another carjacking victim who escaped the group by running as they shot at him. Recent reports show that an accident that Mr. White got into later that week led to the arrest of the six men the license plate of the car Mr. White was driving was left at the scene.
Police believe that the six men may have been involved in organized criminal activity including numerous thefts, armed robberies and carjackings in Fort Washington and other sections of the county.
"Some of the crimes we are currently investigating, dating back to January, may have involved this group of men," said Prince George's County Deputy State's Attorney Robert Dean.
Mr. Scutchings, Mr. Odum and Mr. Carroll all live in the 1200 block of Lampton Lane, prompting some to believe they may be part of an organized gang, said Prince George's County State's Attorney Jack Johnson.
"This case definitely merits the death penalty," Mr. Johnson said.
After leaving a D.C. club June 10, Petty Officer Brown and Mr. Patten stopped outside a Fort Washington church, where police believe the men confronted the two and beat them before taking their car.
They then stuffed the couple into the trunk of Mr. Patten's car, drove them to Accokeek, shot them execution-style and left their bodies in a wooded area, police said. A passer-by discovered the bodies later that afternoon, according to police.
Prince George's Police Chief John S. Farrell said the couple's slaying was the most brutal crime he had seen in 30 years.

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