Carjack suspect charged in 3 more deaths

October 13, 1992|By Sheridan Lyons and Michael James | Sheridan Lyons and Michael James,Staff Writers

Police filed three more murder charges yesterday against a Wheaton man who had been charged two days earlier with killing a George Washington University professor for her car.

The suspect, Allan Patterson Newman, 41, is also accused of stealing a car from Baltimore County on Friday and of firing gunshots at an off-duty police officer. He was arrested after a three-state chase that culminated with a shootout in Harper's Ferry, W.Va.

Mr. Newman, a self-employed house painter, was linked to four homicide cases after ballistics experts tested the gun he was carrying and determined it had been used in four killings, police said.

He was being held last night at the Eastern Regional Jail in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Mr. Newman had been charged Saturday with the Feb. 24 killing of Dr. Shahin Hashtroudi, who was shot once in the head outside her Bethesda office by a man who stole her 1986 Toyota Camry automobile.

Montgomery County police yesterday obtained arrest warrants charging him with three other murders, said Ann Evans, a Montgomery County police spokesman.

The warrants followed ballistics tests by the U.S. Treasury Department's Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents.

The new homicide charges involve the Jan. 15 fatal shooting of Jose Ramos, 31, in the parking lot of his apartment house in the 1600 block of E. Jefferson St. in Rockville and the Nov. 13 double slayings of Maura Portillo, 39, of Silver Spring and Jose Escobar, 30, of Hyattsville, two members of the cleaning crew for Tischer Auto of Silver Spring.

Meanwhile, police, sheriff's deputies and FBI agents in Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia are combing through unsolved carjacking and bank robbery cases, looking for any connections to the suspect.

Mr. Newman, who lives alone in the 1000 block of Amherst Ave., Wheaton, is currently being held in lieu of $55,000 bail on West Virginia charges of attempted murder and importing stolen property.

Those charges stem from the shootout Friday with an off-duty Housing Authority the Harpers Ferry police chief, according to Deputy JesseJones of the Jefferson County, W.Va., sheriff's office.

Police and sheriff's deputies negotiated with the man for about 1 1/2 hours Friday after he walked into a field and put a gun to his head, threatening to kill himself.

Deputy Jones said Baltimore County police have a detainer against Mr. Newman, charging him with two counts of attempted murder, armed robbery and auto theft in the Catonsville carjacking, which occurred in the 1000 block of Coleridge Court.

The attempted murder charges stemmed from shots exchanged with an off-duty policeman who saw the two girls being robbed and tried to help them.

Authorities say they believe they may now have a link to at least one other homicide and numerous bank robberies.

Dr. Hashtroudi's car, with stolen Virginia license plates, was used to hold up a bank in Chantilly, Va., Officer Boyd Thompson of the Fairfax police said.

In that incident, a masked bank robber walked in with a bag, said "Fill it up," and left, he said. Three red-dye packs exploded inside the car, which was recovered near the Dun Loring Metro station.

U.S. Park Police also were conferring with Montgomery County detectives about the Feb. 18 carjacking and shooting death of Baltimore businessman J. Schuyler Alland.

Mr. Alland was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head in a wooded area of the National Agricultural Research Center in northern Prince George's County. His $80,000 BMW automobile was missing.

Pat Hynes, special agent in charge of the Washington field division of the U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Bureau, said a ballistics expert would conduct tests today on the bullet that killed Mr. Alland.

Mr. Hynes said an ATF firearms specialist received the slugs from the Hashtroudi, Ramos, Portillo and Escobar cases over the weekend and determined they were fired from the .357-caliber Ruger handgun confiscated when Mr. Newman was arrested.

The test consists of firing a bullet from the gun and comparing the rifling grooves on the slug with those in other shooting cases, Mr. Hynes said.

"We'll be continuing to check any other .357 Ruger slugs we have in other criminal cases," Mr. Hynes said. "Right now, we've got four matches."

FBI agents are also looking into the suspect's possible connection to the Chantilly, Va., bank robbery and a bank holdup in Centreville, Va., on Feb. 21, 1991.

Both robberies were the work of a white male, 5-foot 9-inches tall with a lady's stocking over his face, she said.

The man entered the banks, displayed a large revolver, announced a hold-up and ordered the employees to fill a bag -- all the while shouting profanities.

"He was not a polite robber," she said.

Spokesmen for the Maryland State Police, the Baltimore FBI office and the Baltimore County police all said they were unaware of any open homicides, but will review unsolved assault and robbery incidents that seem similar to the current cases.

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