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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

PG Robbery Suspect (a convicted murderer) Acquitted Because of Lax Police Work, Juror Says

Robbery Suspect Acquitted Because of Lax Police Work, Juror Says.
Post, 17 Feb 2009 (Castaneda).
A Prince George's County man charged with the armed robbery of a Subway sandwich shop was acquitted by a county jury this month after a detective testified that investigators did not collect evidence from surveillance cameras at the eatery.

Detective George Long also said that he did not check to see if a fingerprint lifted from the scene was left by the defendant, that police did not canvass the area for witnesses and that he did not follow up with a Subway customer who gave a statement the day of the robbery.

"The general feeling among the jurors was that the lack of evidence presented was sad," juror Pamela Pine said of the state's case. "To quote the prosecutor, the investigation was shoddy."

Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Wright used that word to describe the police investigation during his closing argument, according to Pine and the defense attorney, Harry J. Trainor Jr. A spokesman for the prosecutor's office said that Wright could not recall whether he used the word "shoddy."

Wright argued to the jury that the state nonetheless had presented enough evidence for a conviction.

Long did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Maj. Andy Ellis, a spokesman for the county police, declined to comment on the case. He said department policy requires detectives to seek evidence from surveillance cameras when possible and to search for available witnesses.

The defendant, Henry Angulo-Gil, 33, was convicted last week of first-degree felony murder in an unrelated case. The killing occurred the day after the robbery at the Subway.
* * *
Under questioning by Trainor, Long acknowledged knowing about the surveillance video. He did not explain why the recording was not collected as evidence.

"So, no canvass was done?" Trainor asked, according to a transcript. "You didn't follow up with the eyewitness who was in there, no video surveillance was retrieved and no fingerprints that were submitted ever were reported back to you, correct?"

"Correct," Long replied.
* * *
In the unrelated case, Angulo-Gil was convicted of first-degree felony murder Thursday in the April 14, 2007, shooting death of Carlos Millian, 33. According to prosecutors, Angulo-Gil shot Millian while trying to rob him of a gold chain in Langley Park.

He is scheduled to be sentenced April 1.

(Posted 17 Feb 2009)

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