- Donald Rumsfeld has ‘no idea’ if he paid taxes correctly
- Bradley Manning named honorary grand marshal of San Francisco Pride parade
- Look out PayPal: Facebook working toward mobile payments system
- U.S. rebukes Iran’s U.N. envoy pick over 1979 embassy attack
- Stoned mom avoids jail after driving 12 miles with baby on roof
- More than 100 ‘inappropriate’ encounters between NYC school staffers, students since 2009: report
- Joe Biden to Boston bombing survivors: ‘America will never, ever stand down’
- FBI failed to throughly vet Boston bombing suspect after Russian lead, report finds
- Atlanta Braves flooded with Hank Aaron hate mail: He’s a ‘scumbag’
- University: Help, our campus is too white
D.C. homicides in January among highest in recent years
D.C. police in January recorded among the highest monthly total of homicides seen in the city in recent years, with the number of killings exceeded in only two other months since 2011.
Police said 14 killings were recorded last month, trailing only the 15 homicides seen in July and the 23 homicides in September — a total inflated by a mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard that claimed 12 victims.
The figure is well ahead of the pace set to open the last three years, when five killings were recorded in January 2013, six were seen in January 2012 and nine occurred in January 2011.
And while it’s nowhere near that of decades past — when the number of slayings approached 500 in a single year and the District was routinely referred to as the “murder capital” of the United States — it stands out against a trend of generally declining homicide totals in the past decade that have seen the city’s annual number of killings drop to around 100 each year.
Prior to July, the last time the city saw 14 homicides in a single month was in August 2011. Before that, 14 killings were recorded three times in 2010 — a year that also saw 19 slayings in the month of June. Police reported 132 homicides in 2010, compared to 104 last year and a half-century low of 88 homicides in 2012.
But unusual circumstances around several of the crimes last month suggested the uptick might not constitute a trend.
Metropolitan Police Department officials note that January saw a high number of domestic-related homicides — slayings law enforcement officials often describe as difficult to prevent.
“At least four of our homicides are domestic-related,” said Lt. Anthony Haythe, of the police department’s homicide unit. “We have had four homicides that have actually been inside of apartments. Unfortunately, those are things that we can’t control.”
The first homicide of the new year involved Alphonso Cleveland, 52, who was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of his wife, 51-year-old Claudia Hall. Court papers say the killing occurred after a dispute over an unpaid cable bill.
Police also charged 56-year-old Bradford Elliott with the fatal stabbing of his 88-year-old father, Leroi Elliott, and an attack on his mother at their Northwest home. But after his arrest, Bradford Elliott, who police said suffered from mental illness, was hospitalized and died of a heart attack.
Two other cases only recently ruled homicides involved children and stemmed from incidents that occurred last year.
One-month-old Hakeem Brown of Southeast was pronounced dead in September, but the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner last month ruled the death a homicide. Prosecutors said the boy’s mother, Tisheena Louis Brown, 31, administered a lethal dose of a prescription medication to treat nausea after the boy became “fussy.”
In a case that occurred in November, 21-year-old Lillian Alvarado of Northwest was accused in court papers of choking and dismembering her newborn son. The papers say the woman told investigators she wasn’t certain the child had been born alive, but an autopsy revealed the boy was alive and the death was ruled a homicide last month. Ms. Alvarado was charged with first-degree murder.
Of the 14 homicides last month, police made arrests in five of the cases.
The only non-domestic case in which an arrest has been made was in the slaying of Vincent Purvis, 20, who was shot during a drive-by shooting in Southeast. Police found a rental car with shot-out windows that they traced to the crime scene and arrested the man who had rented the vehicle, Robert Osborne.
© 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.
- Wal-Mart forced to apologize for 'mistake' favoring English-speaking shoppers
- EPA: District has second-most energy-efficient buildings
- D.C. autonomy bills introduced in Senate
- Ambitious legislation would reform traffic ticketing procedures
- Bill would loosen medical marijuana restrictions in D.C.
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By returning to goodness, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- U.S. military on high alert as Ukraine troops trade gunfire with pro-Russian militants
- Russian fighter jet buzzes U.S. Navy destroyer in Black Sea
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Kirsten Dunst: Actress sparks feminist ire: 'You need a man to be a man'
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- PHILLIPS: What did Harry Reid know and when did he know it?
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes