Carjacking case expands Suspect is accused of killing professor

October 11, 1992|By Michael James | Michael James,Staff Writer

A man who led police on a three-state chase after carjacking in Baltimore County was charged yesterday in the Feb. 24 death of a George Washington University professor who was killed for her car, authorities said.

The suspect, Allan Patterson Newman, is charged with killing Dr. Shahin Hashtroudi, 45, by shooting her once in the head as she walked to her 1986 Toyota Camry outside her Bethesda office, Montgomery County police said.

Mr. Newman is also being investigated in at least four other carjackings -- three in Montgomery County and one in Virginia -- in which the stolen cars were later used to rob banks, police officials said.

"A lot of old cases are being looked at, not just here but in other places," said Ann Evans, spokeswoman for the Montgomery County police. Both Baltimore County and the FBI have ordered Mr. Newman extradited to Maryland, she said.

Mr. Newman, 41, of Wheaton, was arrested Friday in Harpers Ferry, W.Va., after a shootout with police. He was chased there after he allegedly stole a car from two teen-agers in Catonsville and fired gunshots at an off-duty policeman.

Montgomery County police said they have an arrest warrant charging Mr. Newman -- who is awaiting an extradition hearing in West Virginia -- with first-degree murder for Dr. Hashtroudi's death. He is also charged with armed robbery in the theft of her car, police said.

The warrant was obtained after the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms tested the .357-caliber Magnum Mr. Newman was carrying at the time of his arrest and found that it was the gun that killed Dr. Hashtroudi, police said.

Dr. Hashtroudi, a native of Iran and a professor of psychology, was shot once in the head at a parking lot across from the National Institutes of Health. She was left to die.

Her car was later used in the March 5 robbery of the Central Fidelity Bank in Chantilly, Va., police said. The robber later ditched the car in Fairfax, Va.

Police were tight-lipped about other charges and said they planned a news conference Tuesday morning. But in the days after the doctor's killing, the FBI -- which investigates all bank robberies -- announced that whoever killed Dr. Hashtroudi was also believed to be hijacking cars and then robbing banks.

In three of the cases, the FBI reported, a man stole a car at gunpoint in Montgomery County, replaced the Maryland tags with Virginia tags and robbed a bank before abandoning the car.

Also, in April of this year, a man believed to be the same gunman hijacked a car in Falls Church, Va., and robbed the Citizens Bank of Maryland in Bethesda, the FBI said.

In addition to the Hashtroudi carjacking and the subsequent bank robbery in Chantilly:

* On Feb. 20, 1991, a Montgomery County man's 1987 Nissan Sentra was stolen in Rockville by a man who shot him in the arm to get the car, the FBI said. The next day, a Fairfax Bank and Trust was robbed by a man who apparently drove the same car.

* On Nov. 25, 1991, a red Toyota Supra was stolen at gunpoint in Rockville. The next day, a Signet Bank in Ellicott City was robbed by a man driving a red Toyota Supra, the FBI said.

* Just a week before Dr. Hashtroudi's murder, a businessman, J. Schuyler Alland, 34, was fatally shot once in the head outside the entrance to the National Agricultural Research Center in Greenbelt. His 1991 BMW was taken. Police would not say whether there is any connection between the Hashtroudi and Alland killings.

Ms. Evans of the Montgomery County police said investigators searched Mr. Newman's home on Amherst Avenue in Wheaton yesterday and found some evidence in the Hashtroudi case.

She refused to reveal what that evidence was.

Mr. Newman was unemployed and had been renting the apartment, Ms. Evans said.

On Friday, a masked man ambushed a 15-year-old girl and her friend in Baltimore County and took a 1983 Honda Civic belonging to the mother of one of the girls.

After a three-state chase with police, Mr. Newman threatened to take his own life, then surrendered. Just before his surrender, he asked negotiating officers to get his mother on the phone so he could talk to her, officials said.

Baltimore County police have charged him with armed robbery, vehicle theft, assault with intent to murder and a handgun violation.

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