Sunday, April 26, 2009

Arrests Made in Lansdowne Murder, No Chinese Involvement

It looks like the murder of retired U.S. Army officer and CIA contractor William Bennett, and the near-fatal beating of his wife Cynthia, was a case of street crime and not Chinese retaliation for the mistaken targeting of their Belgrade embassy.

The Loudoun County Sheriff announced today that the four suspects he has in custody are ordinary domestic criminals who have committed a string of violent robberies and burglaries in the Northern Virginia area.

Two men with possible gang affiliations have been charged with capital murder and two other suspects are expected to be charged in the beating death of a Loudoun County man during a morning stroll with his wife last month, authorities said yesterday. The attack was a "random robbery gone bad," Loudoun Sheriff Stephen O. Simpson said.

Police began to home in on the four suspects while executing search warrants in connection with a flurry of burglaries, robberies and assaults in Loudoun County. Some suspects appear to be either members of or associated with a regional street gang, but it does not appear that the attacks were part of a gang initiation or ritual, authorities said.

Cynthia Bennett reportedly is recovering and is increasingly able to cooperate with police, so I expect we'll eventually learn her account of the attack.

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