The Charles County Sheriffs Office has obtained warrants for the arrest of three suspects involved in a burglary on July 14 that ended in a crash that killed a 50-year-old Indian Head woman and one of the suspects.
Tavon Spencer, 16, and Ray Kenneth Spencer, 14, both of Washington, D.C., and Alton Lee Peele-Howard, 16, of Suitland will be charged as adults with First Degree Murder, Second Degree Burglary and Motor Vehicle Theft in connection with the incident.
Sheriffs Officers responded to a residence in the 8300 block of Arthurs Court in Pomfret for the burglary at 9:05 a.m. on July 14. Initial investigation revealed six suspects broke into a garage in an attempt to steal a four-wheeler and an off-road motorcycle. Citizens observed the suspects and the suspects subsequently fled in two vehicles, a white Ford van and a blue mini van.
The blue van struck an embankment in front of another residence in the subdivision, disabling the vehicle. The four occupants fled on foot. The white van fled the subdivision and a look-out was broadcast. A Maryland State Police trooper located the white van at approximately 9:30 a.m. on Hawthorne Drive. The white van then struck a Mercury Mountaineer, fatally injuring Cynthia Chester, 50, of Indian Head, the driver of the Mercury. The passenger in the white van, a 15-year-old Washington, D.C. boy, was also fatally injured. The driver, Peele-Howard, was injured and taken to Prince Georges General Hospital where he remains in the custody of the Sheriffs Office. He will be served the warrant once he is released from the hospital.
Sheriffs patrol officers and K9 units, Maryland State Police troopers and a Fairfax County Police helicopter conducted a search for the four suspects who fled in the blue van. At 12:11 p.m., the Sheriffs Office received the report of a vehicle stolen from a residence in the 7100 block of Bumpy Oak Road in Pomfret and police determined the suspects in this theft were the same four suspects who fled in the blue mini van after the burglary. Maryland State Police located the vehicle, a 1997 Toyota Camry, on Route 5 at Woodyard Road. The vehicle crashed at Naylor Road and the four suspects fled. Ray Spencer and Tavon Spencer were apprehended. Metropolitan police charged them with Stolen Motor Vehicle. They will be charged on their warrants in Charles County once they are extradited from the District. The search for the other two suspects continues. They face the same charges as the other suspects.
The Sheriffs Office met with the Charles County States Attorneys Office and determined the suspects could be charged with First Degree Murder under the Felony Murder Rule. The rule essentially states a person who commits a felony, such as burglary, can be charged with First Degree Murder if, in the process of committing that felony, someone is killed. Regardless of who physically commits the murder, everyone involved in the felony would be charged with murder because they were involved in a felony that resulted in a murder. In this case, the suspects will be charged with two counts of first degree murder because the burglary and subsequent crash resulted in two deaths.