The two men who allegedly shot and killed suspended Secret Service officer Arthur Baldwin, 30, last December did so after they were instructed to rob him, according to documents supporting their arrest. One of the two men charged with first-degree murder has already been charged with the murder of a 15-year-old at the Deanwood metro the day before Easter.
Police on Tuesday announced the arrest of Charles Sims, 29, and on Wednesday announced Maurice Bellamy’s arrest. Bellamy, 17, is already being held without bail for allegedly shooting 15-year-old Davonte Washington while he stood on a metro platform with his mom on the way to get a haircut for Easter. Bellamy is being tried as an adult in both cases, police said.
Interviews with witnesses suggest Baldwin’s murder was the result of a four-man robbery operation gone awry.
According to witness reports, three black men approached Baldwin’s gray Nissan Altima on December 15 of last year. A person who accompanied Sims and Bellamy, said a fourth person told the three of them to rob Baldwin, alleging the suspended secret service agent was in the area to buy a large quantity of drugs from a known dealer in the area. In the documents, police say their investigation led them to believe Baldwin was in the area to visit a friend, not to purchase drugs. The three men were driven to the scene by the man giving the instruction. The third man, who is not named in the document, said Sims and Bellamy were armed with pistols. This account was consistent with other witness interviews, and the autopsy report which concluded Baldwin died after being shot five times by at least two different pistols, according to the documents.
According to Sims’ and Bellamy’s companion, Bellamy knocked on Baldwin’s passenger side window, and “asked him what time it was and then pointed a .38 caliber pistol at him.” Sims opened the driver side door, while the third person rifled through the trunk. According to that witness, Baldwin tried to get out of the car, and pushed Bellamy. Bellamy then shot him. Sims, standing on the passenger side, also shot the victim. Baldwin’s wallet and iPad were taken, but no money drugs or weapons were found, the witness said. When Bellamy saw the wallet had no money in it, he tossed it down a street drain, according to that witness. When police responded to 911 calls of a shooting, they found Baldwin across the street from his car without his wallet, with a silver watch on the ground nearby.
The witness told police the identities of the two suspects, which matched the descriptions provided by other witnesses at the scene. An additional witness interviewed by police said they heard Bellamy and Sims speaking in their apartment hallway about reports of a secret service officer killed. Sims, according to that witness, said he had fired at Baldwin during the course of a robbery. This witness said the fourth man, who drove the three would-be robbers to the scene then tried to sell them Baldwin’s stolen iPad.
Another person interviewed by police said they were present for a conversation had by Sims and Bellamy about the murder, in which Sims asked Bellamy why he shot Baldwin. Sims said he did it because Baldwin tried to “buck on him and take his pistol.” When Bellamy asked the same question, Sims said Bellamy was struggling with Baldwin, and once Bellamy had already shot Baldwin, he couldn’t be left there alive.
The third robber, and the person who was offered the iPad both told police Sims had texted them a few days prior to his arrest to tell them he had buried the guns used in the murder near a creek bed near the homicide, and had marked the location by tying a blue ribbon around a branch. Though police searched the area, they did not recover the weapons.
Sims was presented in D.C. Superior Court Tuesday and is being held without bail. Bellamy, is already being held without bail for his prior murder case. Sims is due back in court May 11, and Bellamy will be presented in court Thursday afternoon. He is due in court for the first murder on Friday.
According to the Washington Post, Baldwin had been on leave from the Secret Service for charges stemming from a domestic incident.