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Bond for man held in shooting is lowered

April 06, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - A man police believe drove the getaway car for the suspect in the March 14 shooting death of another man at Washington Gardens Apartments and Townhouses was taken before a Washington County District judge Monday.

District Judge Ralph H. France II ordered that bond be lowered from $1 million to $600,000 for Victor Lawrence Anderson, 24, of 40 W. 115th St., New York City.

Anderson is charged with one count of accessory after the fact to first-degree murder and one count of transporting a handgun in a vehicle in connection with the March 14 shooting death of Jonathan M. Dennis, 19, of Waynesboro, Pa.

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The Hagerstown Police Department said in a news release that an arrest warrant issued for Anderson was forwarded to the New York City Police Department Fugitive Squad, which arrested Anderson on March 29. Anderson waived extradition April 2 and was returned to Hagerstown, police said.

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Arthur Rozes told France on Monday that Anderson is a "material witness" to Dennis' death. Rozes said Anderson was convicted in 1999 of distributing crack cocaine in Washington County and has had similar convictions in New York City.

"We believe he's a 100 percent flight risk," Rozes said.

France, who said Anderson's charges carry maximum eight-year sentences, said the original bond of $1 million is "a little high" and lowered it to $600,000.

Anderson was being held on bond at the Washington County Detention Center Monday night.

The Hagerstown Police Department was still seeking Azaniah Blankumsee, also known as "Azzy," whom police charged with shooting at a group of people with whom Dennis was walking about 12:45 a.m.

Blankumsee is charged with first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, carrying a concealed weapon, use of a handgun in commission of a felony/crime of violence, possession of a handgun by a convicted felon and illegal possession of a regulated firearm, police said.

"His whereabouts are unknown," said Hagerstown Police Department Lt. Richard L. Johnson Monday.

Blankumsee was described as black, 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 130 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Police said he should be considered armed and dangerous.

Police ask anyone with information on Blankumsee to call them at 301-790-3700, ext. 234.

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