Slain DC Detective's Stepson Held Without Bond - NBC4 Washington

Slain DC Detective's Stepson Held Without Bond

Police are seeking his stepson in connection with his shooting



    The stepson accused of killing a D.C. police officer at this Prince George's County home was already a wanted man and should have been in jail at the time of the shooting, News4's Jackie Bensen reported. (Published Wednesday, April 24, 2013)

    The man accused of killing D.C. police officer Joseph Burrough Newell should have been in jail when Newell was slain outside his Maryland home Monday, authorities said.

    Antwan Rayvon James, Newell's 27-year-old stepson, was being sought for violating the terms of his probation after an assault arrest in January, according to prosecutors during a court hearing Wednesday.

    A warrant for James' arrest on the probation violation had been issued on March 30.

    It's unclear whether Newell knew about the warrant for his stepson. But if sheriff's deputies had been able to locate James, he would have been in jail.

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    Relatives dropped off the officer's 27-year-old stepson, Antwan Rayvon James, at Prince George's County police headquarters Tuesday. James is charged with first-degree murder and likely will be held without bond.
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    James was ordered held without bond at  the Wednesday's hearing.

    James is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Newell, a 24-year veteran of the Metropolitan Police Department. At Wednesday's hearing, James's public defender requested bond be set at $250,000. The judge refused the request, News4's Jackie Bensen reported.

    Police said a preliminary investigation revealed that Monday night's fatal shooting stemmed from a dispute over work around the house. According to a police affidavit, around 8 p.m., Newell asked James to help him change a light over the garage. James got angry and refused.

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    James's mother yelled at him for not helping, and, according to the police document, James said, "Oh yeah? Watch this."

    The killing was captured on surveillance video from a nearby home, which shows Newell, 46, being shot in the back while standing on a ladder to change a light bulb outside his home's garage in the 6700 block of Green Moss Drive, in a gated Avalon community.

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    Newell fell to the ground, and the gunman then stood over him and fired four more rounds into his body.

    "It's as simple, and as tragic, as that," said Prince George's County Assistant Police Chief Kevin Davis. "...It was an execution."

    Police identified James as the killer and said he fled on foot with the gun he had used, which has not yet been located. They said the gun was not Newell's service weapon.

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    Newell was a detective with the Metropolitan Police Department's sixth district.

    "It is especially saddening to lose a beloved member of the department in such senseless and shocking circumstances," D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said. "As always, the members of the MPD are coming together to support the family and friends of our fallen member. Our thoughts and prayers remain with all affected during this difficult time."

    Assistant Chief Peter Newsham of MPD offered his condolences to Newell's wife, Bernadette, and the rest of his family. "He was a husband; he was a father; he was a son; obviously, he was a member of the Metropolitan Police Department," Newsham said.

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    Newsham said he used to play basketball with Newell, who worked in one of the city's "more challenging" police districts. "He had some of the tougher assignments" there, Newsham said, calling Newell an "excellent detective and a good friend."

    Newsham said Newell had stepchildren and two teenage daughters.

    Early Tuesday, Prince George's County Police obtained an arrest warrant for James, who, along with his siblings, lived in the home where the shooting occurred.

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    Friends said there had been tension between James and Newell over helping out at home.

    James turned himself in Tuesday evening. He was dropped off by relatives at Prince George's County Police headquarters Tuesday evening, Bensen reported. Authorities hadn't been expecting him, but had earlier in the day called on James to turn himself in.

    James had recently resigned from the D.C. Fire and EMS Department, authorities confirmed.

    Until early Tuesday morning, police believed the shooter was barricaded inside the home, but after 3 a.m. police entered the home, and it became clear that the gunman had fled. They said they thought someone was inside the home because they saw blinds and curtains moving, but it turned out that an open window had caused a breeze to move them.

    As James was led out of police headquarters late Tuesday night, he said, "Tell my family I love them."

    Stay with News4 and for updates on this developing story.

    Inset: Officer Joseph Burrough Newelll