UPPER MARLBORO — A Prince George’s County jury returned a guilty verdict against a man accused of shooting a man 11 times, announced the State’s Attorney’s Office (SAO).
After four hours of deliberation, Darius Wilson of Waldorf was convicted for the first-degree murder of Rondell Foo and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony or crime of violence. His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 7, 2020. He will face a life term plus an additional 20 years in prison, according to the SAO.
The incident dates back to Nov. 21, 2017, around 9:20 p.m. when patrol officers responded to the 6300 block of Sunvalley Terrace in District Heights for the report of a shooting, the Prince George’s County Police Department (PGPD) reported.
The male victim, later identified as Foo, then 23 years old, was lying on the ground. Foo had been shot 11 times and was pronounced dead on the scene.
Officials said the investigation revealed video footage from the apartment complex that showed a Black male with a handgun walking back to the area where the body was recovered at the time of the shooting.
During an interview with the PGPD, the defendant identified himself as the individual in the surveillance footage, the SAO said.
On Jan. 12, 2018, police released a statement announcing that Homicide Unit detectives identified and arrested Wilson in connection with the District Heights homicide.
The investigation further revealed that Foo’s last cell phone communication was to a burner phone that was purchased by Wilson and later recovered in a storm drain near where the incident occurred, says an SAO statement regarding the incident.
The burner phone showed only one call to the store where Wilson bought the phone. The phone also showed one text to Foo asking him to meet him shortly before he was found shot to death.
“This conviction is another example of justice being served,” State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy said in a statement released by her office on Dec. 6.
Woman dies in fatal car crash trying to elude police
The PGPD Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Unit is investigating a fatal car accident in University Park shortly after midnight on Dec. 9 that left a Virginia woman dead.
At around 12:30 am on Dec. 9, officers were in the area of Adelphi Road and Van Buren Street in University Park when they observed a driver in a red SUV who appeared not to be wearing a seatbelt.
Officers then proceeded to activate their emergency lights and sirens and attempted a traffic stop. The SUV came to a brief halt. The officers stepped out of their vehicle and were walking toward the SUV when the driver placed the car in drive and fled the area.
When the officers returned to their vehicles, the SUV was gone from sight, police said. There was no pursuit as officers began to canvass the immediate area in search for the SUV. Minutes later, police discovered the SUV overturned in a nearby resident’s front yard in the 7100 block of College Heights Drive. A male passenger was standing outside of the car and the female driver, identified as 30-year-old Jennifer Sorto of Woodbridge, Virginia, was located inside the vehicle.
Officers called for emergency medical assistance, and Sorto was pronounced dead on the scene.
PGPD said investigators will also work to determine if alcohol or any other intoxicants played a role as the investigation continues.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Unit at 301-731-4422.
Suspended PGPD patrol officer charged with two misdemeanors
A PGPD patrol officer is being suspended following his arrest for two misdemeanors in Washington D.C., said police in a Dec. 3 statement.
The officer, Robert Grimes, was off duty at the time.
The two misdemeanors Grimes was charged with were second-degree burglary and destruction of property on the morning of Dec. 3 in a Washington, D.C. Superior Court, authorities said.
Additionally, he is accused of breaking into and causing property damage to an office building, which occurred shortly before 3 a.m. on Nov. 24. No one was injured, officials confirmed.
PGPD’s Internal Affairs Division has launched an administrative investigation into this matter, the department said.
Any questions about the criminal investigation should be directed to the Metropolitan Police Department, advised PGPD.
Grimes joined the PGPD in 2016; currently, he is assigned to the Bureau of Patrol.
Former part-time Fairmount Heights Policeman arrested on rape charges
PGPD has arrested and charged a former officer with the Fairmount Heights Police Department for raping a woman after a traffic stop prior to his resignation, police said.
At the time of the incident in September, 30-year-old Martique Vanderpool of the Capitol Heights was a part-time officer with the agency.
The preliminary investigation revealed that on Sept. 6 at roughly 11:20 p.m., Vanderpool and a second Fairmount Heights Police officer conducted a traffic stop at Sheriff Road and Cabin Branch Drive in Capitol Heights. The victim, an adult female, was the driver and only person in that vehicle.
During the stop, according to police, Vanderpool asked the victim to step out of her car and she was placed into handcuffs. Vanderpool then called for a tow truck to impound the victim’s car. The victim was ultimately taken back to the Fairmount Heights Police Department.
“While there, Vanderpool told the victim if she engaged in a sexual act with him, he would release her. The victim complied,” PGPD said in a Dec. 3 release.
“After the sexual assault, Vanderpool issued the victim several citations, drove her to the impound lot and had her car released back to her.”
PGPD’s Special Investigations Response Team launched an investigation into Vanderpool’s actions at the request of the Fairmount Heights Police Chief, according to police.
Vanderpool is charged with first-degree rape, second-degree rape, second-degree assault and related charges. He is in the custody of the Department of Corrections. A court commissioner ordered him held on a no-bond status.
Police urge anyone who may have had a similar interaction with Vanderpool to call 301-856-2660.