- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 3, 2006

Two men facing murder charges are at large after escaping yesterday morning from the D.C. Jail in Southeast.

The Metropolitan Police Department began a manhunt for Ricardo Jones, 25, and Joseph Leaks, 32, shortly after 10:30 a.m., said agency spokesman Sgt. Joe Gentile.

Mr. Jones and Mr. Leaks were awaiting trial for the murder of David Valentine in Northeast last summer.

Devon Brown, the director of the D.C. Corrections Department, said the men escaped from the 30-year-old jail, which houses nearly 2,500 inmates a month, by breaking through the reinforced glass of a second-story office window and jumping onto a canopy.

“All of the glass at the jail is security-level,” Mr. Brown said. “It takes some force to penetrate it.”

A guard chased them to the Stadium-Armory Metrorail Station where they eluded capture.

Police think the men rode a Metro shuttle bus to the Minnesota Avenue Station in Northeast, Sgt. Gentile said.

Metro is operating a free shuttle this weekend from the Stadium-Armory Station to Minnesota Avenue while the station undergoes a maintenance overhaul.

“The public should know that these men are dangerous,” Mr. Brown said. He promised that any culpability on the part of his staff would result in “severe” discipline.

The two men were awaiting trial in connection with the shooting death of Mr. Valentine, who was shot July 6 in front of Mr. Leaks’ residence in the 1200 block of Meigs Place in Northeast.

Mr. Jones is accused of shooting Mr. Valentine. Police said the incident started when Mr. Leaks brandished a handgun at Mr. Valentine and another person as they were walking past Mr. Leaks’ home, then an argument ensued.

Mr. Leaks, also known as “Joseph Poindexter,” told authorities that he and Mr. Jones laid low in a Maryland residence for a few weeks after the shooting, then traveled to North Carolina.

Mr. Jones is charged with first-degree murder, according to court documents. Mr. Leaks is charged with being an accessory after the fact.

The two may also be wanted in Greensboro, N.C., in connection with a shooting in August of a security guard, authorities said.

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