- The Washington Times - Monday, July 31, 2000

A 31-hour standoff between area police and a 91-year-old Upper Marlboro, Md., man who is believed to have killed his nephew ended early yesterday morning after the man was disabled by a police robot firing a water cannon.

The robot, called the Remote Mobile Investigator, entered the elderly man's home in the 15000 block of Leeland Road shortly after 1 a.m. and shot a blast of water at the man's leg. The shot disabled the man, and Prince George's police ran into the home to take him into custody.

The elderly man had injured his knee during the shot and was taken to an area hospital, where he was being evaluated yesterday afternoon, according to police.

Police said yesterday they believe the man shot and killed his nephew, James Newman, 59, of Seat Pleasant, when Mr. Newman came over to the man's house to mow the lawn sometime Friday. But police have yet to figure out a motive in the case.

"It's still part of our investigation," said Cpl. Diane Richardson, a county police spokeswoman. "We are trying to determine what happened."

Cpl. Richardson said the man's family told authorities the man might be suffering from dementia and might not have taken his medication.

Police declined to release the man's name yesterday because he has not been charged. Police said the State's Attorney's Office will decide if charges will be filed in the case.

The standoff began at about 6 p.m. Friday when a relative went to check on the elderly man and found Mr. Newman's body behind the house.

The man barricaded himself in his home after family members flagged down an ambulance about 6 p.m. Friday to report someone had been injured at the man's house. Police said that when rescue crews arrived, they found a dead man in the back yard with a gunshot wound.

The man in the house began yelling at rescue workers to get off his property and threatening them, police said. Police officers, who arrived about 90 minutes later, learned the man had barricaded himself and had a stockpile of guns and ammunition.

More than 100 police officers from Prince George's, Anne Arundel and Montgomery counties assembled outside the man's house and closed off a mile of the rural road in both directions. Two police helicopters and two armored vehicles also responded to the scene, police said.

Each time officers tried to come near his house, the man fired several shots at them, police said.

Determined to end the standoff peacefully, police tried to make contact with the man, but he refused. Police said the man apparently ripped out the telephone lines in his house.

Then, police fired several canisters of tear gas into the house, but "they didn't have any effect on him," Cpl. Richardson said.

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