- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
Charges filed in September slaying of P.G. student
Was shot walking to Central High School
Question of the Day
Authorities have charged a 20-year-old Maryland man in the fatal shooting last year of an 18-year-old high school student.
After alluding last week to a pending arrest in the case, Prince George’s County police announced Monday that Travon Bennett, who has been in jail since November when he was arrested in an unrelated robbery, is being charged in the death of Marckel Ross, one of six county school students slain this school year.
Ross, 18, was fatally shot as he walked to Central High School on the morning of Sept. 11 in an apparent robbery attempt.
Mr. Bennett, of Bryans Road in Charles County, also faces charges of attempted first-degree murder from a robbery in May as well as two robberies in September and October. The three other robberies occurred in the Capitol Heights neighborhood where Ross was killed, and the gun used to kill Ross was linked through ballistics to at least one of the other cases, officials said.
“Our ultimate goal is to find answers, and today we have that,” Prince George’s County police Chief Mark A. Magaw said. “The message here is no matter how long it takes us, we will find you. We will bring you to justice and we will hold you accountable for your senseless choices.”
Though two other men also face charges in earlier robberies that Mr. Bennett is accused of, investigators believe he acted alone in Ross‘ shooting and that he targeted Ross for a robbery but shot him during a “confrontation.”
“We believe Travon Bennett acted alone and was alone,” said Maj. Michael Straughan, commander of the Criminal Investigation Division.
An attorney listed as representing Mr. Bennett in his other robbery cases could not be reached for comment Monday.
Police arrested Mr. Bennett immediately after the Oct. 31 robbery, which occurred in the 5400 block of Abdul Street in Capitol Heights — a few blocks from where Ross was gunned down, according to Maryland court records. In that incident, a man was robbed at gunpoint for two boxes of Salem 100 cigarettes and a pack of Newport 100 cigarettes.
Officers canvassing the area after the robbery stopped Mr. Bennett outside a home and found the stolen cigarettes in his possession, court records state. Police later searched the home where Mr. Bennett was hanging out and recovered a black pellet pistol and a .38 caliber Colt revolver — later determined to be the gun used to kill Ross.
Investigators had the murder weapon in their possession for months but referred to it as a “community gun” that several people passed around for use in robberies. In order to confirm that Mr. Bennett was the shooter, police and prosecutors sought information from witnesses, including a co-defendant in one of the other robbery cases, prosecutors said.
The rest of the robberies are still being prosecuted, and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks said Monday that those who cooperated could be offered plea deals or have charges dropped, though no decision has been made.
“We will consider that in their sentences,” she said.
Ballistic evidence from the Colt revolver also linked Mr. Bennett to a May 31 robbery when a man was shot.
After developing leads from the Oct. 31 robbery, police said one of two victims of a Sept. 9 robbery — in which $500 cash and a pair of green Nike sneakers were stolen — was able to identify his attackers, including Mr. Bennett.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Andrea Noble is a crime and public safety reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Woman fatally struck by bus in Upper Marlboro
- Virginia county revives debate about domestic drones
- GSA picks 3 sites as finalists for new FBI headquarters
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Isaac Orr
New carbon-dioxide rules would put America in the dark
- House GOP resurrects border bill, predicts successful Friday vote
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- Pentagon wants extra $19M to equip, train Ukrainian troops
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors