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D.C. Officer Held in Killing Changed Alibi, Detective Says

D.C. Officer Held in Killing Changed Alibi, Detective Says

The Washington Post via YellowBrix

January 06, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC – An on-duty D.C. police officer charged with murder in a street robbery gone wrong initially told supervisors that he was at police headquarters writing search warrants the night of the Dec. 1 shooting, a homicide detective told a D.C. Superior Court judge Tuesday.

But, the detective testified, Officer Reginald Jones changed his story after a suspect in the case said Jones was involved in the crime. Jones then told police that he was at the scene of the shooting, sitting in his marked patrol car. But Jones told them that he was alone, investigating a tip about illegal guns. He has denied involvement in the shooting and robbery.

Prosecutors have charged Jones, 40, a six-year member of the department, with felony murder in the shooting death of Arvel S. Alston, 40, during the robbery in the 4200 block of Fourth Street SE. One of the co-defendants, Rashun M. Parker, 27, of Temple Hills, the first of five suspects arrested in the case, identified Jones as being involved in planning to rob a suspected drug dealer. Parker has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and conspiracy.

Jones, his ankles and wrists shackled, sat next to his attorney during the three-hour hearing.

Also seated at the defense table was Arvel Crawford, 19, Alston’s son. Parker has said Crawford accidentally killed Alston during a scuffle with the intended robbery victim. Police said Alston had about $4,200 in cash stuffed in his pockets.

The courtroom was filled with family members of the victim and the suspects, as well as uniformed police officers and detectives. Jones, of Upper Marlboro, was assigned to the department’s narcotics and gun recovery unit.

Also charged in the case are Jarvis Clark, 19, of Temple Hills and Lynn Daniel Wilkerson, 33, of Hyattsville.

Detective Anthony Greene testified Tuesday that police recovered from Wilkerson’s home two police-issued bulletproof vests, one of which had “property of R. Jones” written inside, portable flashing red lights and a home-invasion battering ram that was marked “gun recovery unit.”

Greene said the suspects discussed the plan to rob Tyrone Herring, 45, while hanging out at an auto detailing shop in Suitland owned by Wilkerson and frequented by Jones. Greene testified that detectives recovered surveillance video from the auto shop that showed Jones there, sitting at a computer, while the other men were discussing the robbery and distributing guns.

After his arrest in the shooting, Parker accompanied a detective in a stakeout of the auto shop and saw Jones drive up. Parker then identified Jones as the officer involved in the robbery’s planning.

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