- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 23, 2012

An 18-year-old D.C. man let the battery drain on his court-ordered GPS tracking device in order to elude authorities before fatally shooting a man near Gallaudet University less than an hour later, police said.

Court documents filed by police against Kevon M. Austin say he “intentionally did not charge his GPS in an effort to mask his location” before he shot 21-year-old Gregory Darnell Troxler five times about a block from the entrance to the university in Northeast Washington on Oct. 10.

The killing occurred a day after Mr. Austin received the tracking bracelet.

Mr. Austin, who has been in and out of the court system since he was 14, was arrested Saturday and charged in D.C. Superior Court with second-degree murder.

At the time of Troxler’s shooting, Mr. Austin was on probation and a committed ward of the District’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) and the Department of Human Services. Court records state that after facing an assault charge in 2008 and a robbery charge in 2010, Mr. Austin was committed to Human Services until his 19th birthday in February.

A source within DYRS with knowledge of the case confirmed both agencies were monitoring and providing services for Mr. Austin.

A DYRS spokeswoman said she could not confirm whether a youth receives department services.

Charging documents filed in connection with Troxler’s killing say Mr. Austin has a history of tampering with his electronic monitoring devices.

Last year, Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency personnel noted that he covered his GPS tracking device with aluminum foil, blocking it from sending a signal to satellites.

The last location Mr. Austin’s GPS monitor recorded prior to Troxler’s death was about a mile and a half from the site of the shooting, in the 1100 block of 8th Street Northeast. Police said at least one witness put him at the scene.

A witness said Troxler was shot in an alley by a man in a brown hooded sweatshirt who fled on a bicycle. Three other people told police they also saw a man in a brown hooded sweatshirt in the area close to the time of the shooting, with one of the witnesses identifying the man as “K-man,” a nickname Mr. Austin was said to use. A fifth witness told police that Mr. Austin spoke of killing Troxler several days prior to the shooting, court records state.

Troxler had helped a family member move furniture into a home in the 1100 block of 8th Street Northeast earlier in the day and was talking with friends in an alley nearby shortly before he was killed.

Police already were familiar with Mr. Austin at the time of the shooting, arresting him on sight Oct. 12 after he failed to appear in court for an unrelated charge. Mr. Austin was accused earlier this year of reckless driving and domestic violence against his aunt, with whom he lived. Court records in the domestic violence case state Mr. Austin broke into his aunt’s home and, when she confronted him, he slapped her and pushed her to the ground.

The other case accuses him of driving a dirt bike erratically through his neighborhood. Officers quoted him in court documents as saying, “I ain’t doing nothing for this, then I’m a be right back out here.”

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