- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 6, 2011

DeAngelo Walker terrorized residents in his Capitol Heights neighborhood for more than a year before he was charged with the murder of a neighbor this month, said a neighbor who filed assault charges against Mr. Walker.

“I’ve been watching him for almost a year and I have called the police over and over and over again,” neighbor Aaron Smith said Thursday. “Other people were scared of him.”

Blaming Mr. Walker for car break-ins, vandalism and other crimes in the neighborhood, Mr. Smith finally filed second-degree assault charges against Mr. Walker and sought the protection of a peace order. However, a Prince George’s County sheriff’s deputy who served the peace order to Mr. Walker on Sept. 19 didn’t take him into custody on the open warrant. Several hours later, another neighbor, William Albert Nelson, was fatally shot. Police now hold Mr. Walker responsible for the slaying, stating in court documents that he confessed to the shooting while under interrogation and that officers recovered Nelson’s debit card from Mr. Walker’s bedroom.

Over the last seven years, Mr. Walker has faced a litany of criminal charges in the District and Prince George’s County, including rape, assault and sexual solicitation. Many of his court cases have resulted in time spent at psychiatric hospitals.

During a 2009 case for simple assault in the District, Mr. Walker was evaluated for competency to stand trial at St. Elizabeths Hospital, according to documents from D.C. Superior Court. He was found mentally competent to stand trial and was sentenced to 180 days in jail but given credit for time served and was released on probation.

In a 2004 first-degree rape case in Maryland, Mr. Walker was found mentally incompetent to stand trial and spent time in Clifton T. Perkins Hospital in Jessup, Md. He later pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of second-degree assault and was given probation, according to documents from Prince George’s County Circuit Court. After several violations of probation, Mr. Walker’s probation was extended and he is still currently on probation for the 2004 case.

The most recent assault charges, that generated the warrant for Mr. Walker’s arrest, stemmed from an incident in his Capitol Heights neighborhood in which he threw a glass at Mr. Smith’s wife and 3-year-old daughter, according to court documents.

DeAngelo has slashed out car tires and thrown bottle glass at my wife and daughter, and this is because we keep reporting him to police,” wrote Mr. Smith in the peace order he filed Sept. 19 to keep Mr. Walker away from his home. “He keeps cutting neighbors’ tires and breaking into homes but we keep catching him and this is why he is mad.”

A final peace order, which requires a higher burden of proof than an initial peace order, was granted on Sept. 26. At that point, Mr. Walker was already in jail on the assault warrant and was a suspect in the slaying.

Family of Mr. Walker could not be reached for comment, and no attorney is listed as representing him in court documents in the recent cases.

Mr. Walker’s mental state and competency to stand trial would have to be re-evaluated in the murder case if it is to be used in his defense, said Susan Steinberg, director of Forensic Services for Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Previous rulings of incompetency do not bear weight on future cases.

Mr. Walker, who was listed as 25 years old by Prince George’s County police but 30 in court records, currently being held without bond. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Nov. 2 in Prince George’s County District Court.

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