A former Prince George’s County police official who was convicted of killing a furniture delivery man in his Accokeek home, and seriously wounding another, is asking for a new trial.
Keith Washington, who had close ties to now-imprisoned former County Executive Jack B. Johnson before his conviction in 2008, was scheduled on March 20 and 21 to attend a post-trial hearing in Annapolis. He is also asking for a that his 45-year sentence be reduced.
Washington, 52, was convicted in the January 2007 fatal shooting of Brandon D. Clark, then 22, and the wounding of Robert White, 41. According to authorities and court testimony at the time, Clark and White went to Washington’s home in the 1600 block of Shellford Lane just before 8 p.m. as Washington and his wife and daughter were having dinner. He left the table to take them upstairs, where the furniture was to be placed.
After the three men went upstairs, yelling and a scuffle occurred. At some point, Washington took up his 9mm Beretta department-issued handgun and fired, hitting each man in the upper body. Washington said he was innocent and only fired his weapon because he felt threatened after he was attacked by the two deliverymen. He was treated for minor injuries at a hospital.
Though he was convicted, a jury deadlocked in a civil lawsuit filed by Clark’s family and White in 2007. They had been asking for $300 million in damages. A civil case filed by Washington against the county was thrown out.
Even before the shooting, Washington was a controversial figure. Though a corporal in rank, he was tapped for the number two spot in the Department of Homeland Security, a post that many doubted he was qualified to receive. He was known to be close to Johnson, having once served as his driver, and it was widely believed that he was moved into the administrative post because of that relationship. As deputy director of homeland security, Washington, who had been on the department for 16 years when the shooting occurred, was deeply involved in homeland security operations, though he had never served as a law enforcement administrator or worked in in homeland security management.
On the night of the shooting, then-Prince George’s County Police Deputy Chief Roberto Hylton, a number of high-ranking police officers and an administrator from Johnson’s office responded to the scene.
In January 2004, Washington was charged for allegedly getting physical with a property manager at a homeowners association meeting for his Accokeek community. He served on the board. He was placed on paid leave while the case was investigated and the charge was eventually dismissed.
He ran unsuccessfully for county council in 2006.