Two more suspects arrested in fatal shooting in Columbia

Police believe they took part in botched robbery

May 23, 2002|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF

Two more men have been charged in the fatal shooting of a Columbia man in January, Howard County police said yesterday.

One suspect was arrested four days after DeShawn Anthony Wallace, 23, was killed and detectives had been searching for two others they believe participated in the botched robbery, police said.

Police said information from an informant led to the latest two arrests.

Robert Lee Burgess, 18, of the 5700 block of Yellow Rose Court in Columbia and Jonas Lavar Askins, 18, of no fixed address were arrested late Tuesday and were being held without bond at Howard County Detention Center.

Both are charged with first-degree murder, first-degree assault and armed robbery. Police say they conspired with Tavon Donya Sands, 20, on Jan. 25 to rob five young men, including Wallace, in the parking lot of an apartment complex in Oakland Mills, according to court documents.

The charging documents against Burgess and Askins state that detectives believe Sands fired the fatal gunshot to Wallace's head, but they contain little other information about the crime.

Sands' statement of charges describes the night of the robbery in greater detail: Police believe three men approached five young men and ordered them onto the ground by threatening them with a revolver-style handgun. When Wallace refused to comply, one of the three men approached and shot him once in the head. The three attackers fled in a large white vehicle.

A Howard County grand jury returned a 13-count indictment against Sands in the Wallace homicide March 27. He has been held without bail at the county detention center since his arrest Jan. 29.

Sun staff writer Lisa Goldberg contributed to this article.

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