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Police: Man sought in W.Va. homicide case had been dating victim

June 07, 2010|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD
  • A Sunday morning fire at this home off Sam Mason Road in southern Berkeley County, W.Va., claimed the lives of one adult and one child.
By Jennifer Fitch, Staff Writer

BUNKER HILL, W.Va. -- A Virginia man being sought in the death of a 22-year-old woman and her 3-year-old son, whose bodies were found inside a fire-gutted residence Sunday morning, had been dating the woman for about two weeks, according to police and court records.

A warrant charging Antonio Prophet, 34, of 7627 Fairfield Woods Court, Lorton, Va., with one count of first-degree murder in the death of Angela Kay Devonshire was issued Sunday by Berkeley County Magistrate Harry L. Snow, according to court records.

The bodies of Devonshire and her son, Andre White, were found in the garage below their residence at 69 Sydney's Way off Sam Mason Road, according to a complaint filed with the court by Berkeley County Sheriff's Department Lt. Gary Harmison and police.

It appeared that the woman's throat might have been cut, according to the complaint.

The fire originated in the living room area of the residence, and it appeared that both victims fell through the floor of the living room area of the garage apartment as the residence burned, court records say.

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Prophet remained at large Monday, police said. Berkeley County Sheriff Kenneth M. Lemaster Jr. said police searched several locations in the Martinsburg area on Sunday and expanded their search Monday to the Washington, D.C., area.

Prophet is believed to have been in West Virginia for about two weeks prior to Sunday's fire and was dating the woman for about that long, Harmison said.

Prophet's birthday was Saturday, according to court records.

Prophet was charged in August 2009 in Maryland district court in Prince George's County, Md., with four counts of unlawful use of a handgun in the commission of a felony, four counts of possession of marijuana and one count of second-degree assault, according to court records.

He pleaded guilty to one count of possession of marijuana and served about three months. He was released Dec. 17, 2009, according to records.

Firefighters were dispatched to the house fire at 4:37 a.m. Sunday. The bodies of an adult and a child were found inside after the fire was brought under control and "evidence at the scene indicated homicide," Lemaster said Sunday.

Assistant State Fire Marshal Patrick Barker said investigators believe the fire was intentionally set, The Associated Press reported.

Autopsies of the woman and child were scheduled to be conducted to verify identification and cause of death because the bodies were badly burned, Lemaster said Monday morning.

Prophet's business card obtained by police indicated he is the author of a paperback, "Enter The Fire: Seven Days in the Life." A summary about the book posted on Amazon.com says its main character is involved in drug wars and killings.

On his MySpace page, Prophet describes himself as "a laid-back individual, goal-oriented and ambitious as hell."

"I want it all, and willing to work for it. So either run with me or run from me! Love my entire family, both my children, all women, and lots of money ... pretty simple if you ask me," Prophet said about himself.

Devonshire's parents could not be reached for comment Monday to talk about their daughter.

Devonshire, meanwhile, was scheduled to appear in Berkeley County Magistrate Court Tuesday on charges of forgery, uttering and fraudulent schemes, according to court records.

The charges stemmed from a prescription fraud complaint in March 2010 that was filed by Rite Aid pharmacy in Inwood, W.Va., according to court records.

Last month, Devonshire indicated in an affidavit that she had a 3-week old son, Daronte. She was requesting a public defender in the affidavit, according to court records.

The infant has been in the custody of Devonshire's parents since Sunday, Lemaster said.

"The child's fine," Lemaster said.

The sheriff declined to say how the infant arrived at his grandparents' house, which is near the garage apartment where Devonshire and her children were residing.

The burned residence is part of a cluster of homes known as Devonshire's Estates that is situated less than a half-mile from the intersection of Tory Town Road and Sam Mason Road.

The sheriff's department asks that anyone with information about Prophet's whereabouts call Harmison at 304-267-7000.

Staff Writer Jennifer Fitch and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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