Man indicted in 1998 killing

Virginia resident is third charged in December shooting

July 02, 1999|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

A Howard County grand jury indicted a 22-year-old man yesterday in the shooting death of an unemployed salesman who was visiting a friend at a North Laurel apartment in December.

The latest development comes after the March arrest of the man, Randall Bagley, in Portsmouth, Va. He did not fight extradition to Maryland, authorities said.

Prosecutors would not say what the victim, Donald R. Mitchell, 43, was doing at the apartment of his friend, Donovan O. Bowen, on Dec. 10, when three men entered and one shot him.

Court records -- and previous statements by police -- suggest the shooting was drug-related.

Bagley was charged in the indictment with robbing Bowen of cocaine. After shooting Mitchell, the gunman asked Bowen where he kept his "drugs and money," according to police, who have said Mitchell was shot after an argument.

In the weeks after the slaying, police arrested two other alleged accomplices. They were indicted in February.

Kevin A. Lee, 20, of Severn, has been charged with assault, kidnapping and using a handgun during a felony. Patrick S. Gardner, 16, of Laurel, has been charged as an adult with attempted murder, assault, kidnapping and use of a handgun in a felony.

Gardner's defense attorney has filed motions to move his case to juvenile court. A hearing is scheduled July 9.

Lee is scheduled for trial Sept. 20.

Attorneys for the three suspects could not be reached for comment.

About 9 p.m. Dec. 10, three men knocked on Bowen's door in the 9500 block of Sylvan Still Road. Bowen answered, let the men inside and walked toward the kitchen to call his girlfriend, police said.

Bowen then heard a gunshot -- Mitchell had been slain by someone nicknamed "Man," who had gold teeth, police said.

The gold-toothed man then pointed his handgun at Bowen and asked for "drugs and money," court records show, before leading Bowen outside at gunpoint.

As they walked toward the parking lot, Bowen overheard the men discussing plans to kill him, court records show. The 28-year-old acted quickly and knocked the gun away.

As he tried to flee, police said, one assailant struck Bowen in the head. As Bowen ran, one of the robbers picked up the gun and tried to shoot him, police said. The gun jammed, police said, and Bowen was able to escape.

Initially, police issued an arrest warrant for Dwayne West Williams and arrested someone by that name, thinking he was their suspect. He wasn't. Bagley apparently used that name as an alias.

In March, authorities arrested Bagley in Portsmouth, his home.

Mitchell had just lost his job selling pharmaceuticals and was attempting to stop using drugs, his half-brother, Otis Blankenship, said yesterday.

"He was trying to get his act together," said Blankenship, of Sacramento, Calif.

Pub Date: 7/02/99

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