- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 10, 2022

The mayor of Washington, D.C., said that the killer in a carjack slaying earlier this week “probably” didn’t mean to murder his victim.

Mayor Muriel Bowser, who has overseen a rising murder rate and a tripling of carjackings compared to before the pandemic, told a reporter on a video posted to social media on Thursday that “there is no more important issue for us right now than dealing with people who are committing crimes in our city.” 

She then cited the grisly slaying of Rakesh Patel, a 33-year-old ICU doctor, on Tuesday night.



“We saw one person, who probably didn’t intend to kill anybody, but did, and devastated a family,” she said.

Patel was struck and killed by his own Mercedes after a suspect had stolen the vehicle in the District’s Adams Morgan neighborhood. The ICU doctor was running into the street to stop the thief when he was run over at high speed by all four tires, according to eyewitness reports.

D.C. police have released a video of two “persons of interest” in the case.

The events would seem to constitute a case of felony murder, i.e., a killing committed in the furtherance of another felony, even if unpremeditated, as long as the other felony was planned. 

Although the District does not have capital punishment, felony murder is one of the types of homicide — alongside hate murders, cop killings and the deaths of children — most commonly eligible for the death penalty in those states that do.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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