Virginia State Trooper Jose Cavazos was assigned to traffic patrol
in the Dale City area on Feb. 23, 1993.
At around 12:40 a.m. Cavazos pulled over a
speeding 1987 Volkswagen Jetta traveling from Washington, D.C., to
North Carolina. Weeks was a passenger in vehicle driven by his uncle,
Trooper Cavazos approached and asked Weeks to get
out and the North Carolina man complied. Weeks, carrying Glock 9 mm
handgun loaded with armor piercing ammunition known as "man-stoppers",
fired at least 6 bullets at Trooper Cavazos, two of which entered
his body beside the right and left shoulder straps of the protective
vest he was wearing.
The car stopped by Trooper Casavos turned out
to be stolen. Both Weeks and Dukes were captured within an hour of
the crime, tracked by dogs to a nearby motel.
Weeks testified at his 1994 trial: "And as I
stepped out the car, it was like something had just took over me
that I couldn't understand. . . well, to me, I felt like it was an
evil - evil spirit or something."
Virginians for Alternatives to
the Death Penalty
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT LONNIE WEEKS, JR.
Lonnie grew up in South East Washington D.C. His
father died when he was 10 years old. Shortly thereafter, his mother
became addicted to drugs and began to steal. When Lonnie was 14
years old, Mrs.Weeks abandoned her children, leaving them with their
grandmother in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
In Fayetteville, Lonnie grew up in an area
notorious from crime and drugs. Nevertheless, Lonnie's grandmother,
Ms. Evelyn Leach, had a strong influence on his life. Lonnie stayed
out of trouble and was a well-behaved student. He was an active and
enthusiastic member of his church.
He held a part-time job. He was
captain of his high school basketball team and was well liked by
other students, his teachers and his coach. His talent at basketball
earned him a scholarship to Mount Olive College.
However, the summer before Lonnie was to begin
college, he fathered a child. Remembering the trauma of his own
broken home, he gave up his scholarship so he could work to support
his new family. Lonnie moved from one low-paying job to the next.
Discouraged, he found it increasingly frustrating to work long hours
in dead-end jobs while observing the nice lifestyles of others in
his neighborhood. In his own words, he "took the easy way out."
In April of 1992, Lonnie was arrested for selling
marijuana. Because it was his first offense, he was put on probation,
but his life continued to spiral. After Lonnie was assaulted and
threatened by a local drug dealer, a neighbor gave him a handgun to
carry for protection.
In February of 1993, Lonnie and a long-time
friend broke into the house of an acquaintance who was serving time
in jail. Lonnie helped himself to the occupant's car - something he
had never been able to afford – and decided to drive to Washington
D.C. for a family gathering.
Traveling back from D.C. with his uncle, the car
was pulled over for speeding by Trooper Jose Cavazos. When Trooper
Cavazos asked Lonnie to step out of the passenger side, Lonnie
panicked and shot him. When he was 21 years old, he was sentenced to
death for this crime.
Without exception, Lonnie's family, his friends,
his teachers, his coach, his minister, his employers — were shocked
to learn what Lonnie had done. None could believe that this polite,
soft-spoken young man, who had never shown the slightest propensity
for violence, could have committed such a violent act. No one was
more stunned than Lonnie himself.
Hours after the shooting, Lonnie Weeks expressed
his profound remorse. As he confessed to shooting Trooper Cavazos,
he told the officer, "I would rather for me to be dead than him."
Since that time he has consistently expressed his deep sorrow for
what he has done and the pain he has caused the Cavazos family. At
his trial, Lonnie testified:
"I apologize for what I have done. I feel that I
took an innocent man's life."
"I also know that what I have done, it was very –
it's very wrong, is hurting, because I know what it feels like to
lose somebody that you love."
"I've hurt my own family, as well as his family.
Sometimes I actually feel like I can't live with myself, but that,
now that I'm back with the Lord, He give me the strength."
"I pray for my family and his family every
"I feel very ashamed and low. . . . , every time
I hear someone talk about Mr. Cavazos, I begin to cry because it
hurts me. It hurts me so bad into my heart that sometimes I actually
feel like I could die from that pain."
"I guess I felt like I didn't need [the Lord] any
more, and so, to myself I say, well, I'm paying for – by my turning
my back on Him, I obviously have an indecent mind."
Since his trial, two of Lonnie's jurors have
explained that they did not want to sentence Lonnie to death, but
the jury misunderstood the instructions they were given by the court.
They have asked Governor James Gilmore to spare Lonnie's life.
PLEASE JOIN LESLIE AND TREVOR CAVAZOS IN THEIR
REQUEST THAT GOVERNOR GILMORE SPARE THE LIFE OF THE MAN WHO SHOT
At 21 years of age, Lonnie Weeks was sentenced to
death for shooting Virginia State Trooper Jose Cavazos. He is
scheduled to be executed on March 16, 2000. The two surviving
children of Trooper Cavazos have asked Governor Gilmore to spare
Lonnie Weeks' life. Cavazos' daughter, Leslie, has written to the
"Please take into consideration the feelings my
brother and I have in this matter. We have thought about this very
carefully. In our hearts, we have forgiven all that has been done to
our family. We want to set an example for society. We do not condone
the act of taking the life of another human being in any way, or for
any reason. It is below the level of an intelligent human being.
This is not (capital punishment) the band aid that will heal society.
It only creates a higher level of animosity in our lives."
Leslie's brother, Trevor, has also explained:
". . . I know what it [is] like to live with a
tragic, violent death of a loved one. At the time of my father's
death I personally would have loved to harm Lonnie Weeks, but that
was pure hate, and I've grown up a lot since then. Now I know
forgiveness is better than vengeance, and that love is better than
hate. I never want to see anyone in my lifetime ever go through what
I have, and currently the state is about to make another child
fatherless. Yes, I mean Lonnie Weeks' children will never have the
chance to make contact with their dad later in life, and later in
life is when its so necessary. Take it from someone who knows. . . .
Please, breakthis cycle of violence by sparing Lonnie Weeks' life."
Please join their request and urge the Governor
to spare Lonnie Weeks' life because:
Lonnie has taken full responsibility for his
actions and has constantly expressed extreme remorse for what he
done and the pain he has caused. Realizing how far he had strayed
from the Christian values instilled in him by his grandmother,
Lonnie renewed his faith and finds strength in his relationship with
God. Lonnie remains close to his family and, in spite of his
situation, is a source of encouragement to his younger brother,
D'Angelo, and his two sons, D'Angelo, 9, and Jamaiz, 8. He poses no
threat to society. We should follow the example set by Leslie and
Trevor Cavazos and show that we, as a community, value redemption
and reconciliation over vengeance.
Lonnie Weeks was convicted of murdering a state
trooper during a 1993 traffic stop in Dale City, Virginia. Weeks,
26, shot Trooper Jose Cavazos six times in the back, as he was
walking away, with a Glock 9mm handgun, using hollow-point bullets
known on the street as "man-stoppers." Weeks was a passenger in a
car being driven by his uncle, Louis Dukes.
The officer had pulled
over the car for speeding on Interstate 95. Weeks and Dukes were
captured within an hour of the crime, after being tracked by dogs to
a nearby motel. Weeks was convicted of capital murder, grand larceny
and illegal possession of a handgun.
One state trooper describes the upcoming
execution as "an eye for an eye." Virginia State Trooper Jose M.
Cavazos was assigned to traffic patrol in the Dale City area on Feb.
23, 1993, when he became the 45th state trooper killed in the line
Senior state trooper Richard Powell, who worked
the midnight shift along with Cavazos, was called to the scene at
the Dale City exit ramp off Interstate 95 after learning his friend
had been killed - the victim of hollow-tipped bullets known as "man-stoppers."
He said the loss of an officer is always a hard reality to accept. "It's
something that you accept when you take the job," Powell said
Tuesday. "When it happens, I think, reality sets in."
Cavazos, originally from Edinburg, Texas, began
working for the state in 1969 with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
After entering trooper training in 1985, Cavazos began patrolling
Prince William County on July 18, 1986. He was promoted a year later.
"He was a good man," Powell said. "He was the kind of person you
want wearing a blue-and-gray uniform, out there enforcing the law."
In 1993 at age 50, Cavazos could have retired,
Powell said, but he wanted to earn money to put his children through
college. That aspect of his life made his murder that much more
senseless, Powell said. "Jose always had a smile on his face,"
Powell said. "He was easy-going; he really seemed to enjoy life. ...
He was a big man. He was a very impressive figure in uniform. He
demanded respect and authority when he walked up to someone."
According to court records, at around 12:40 a.m.
the morning of the shooting, Cavazos pulled over a speeding 1987
Volkswagen Jetta traveling from Washington, D.C., to North Carolina.
The car pulled over on the Dale City exit ramp in Prince William
County just off the interstate.
When Cavazos approached the Jetta,
driven by Weeks' his uncle Lewis J. Dukes Jr., he asked Weeks to get
out and the North Carolina man complied. Weeks, carrying a loaded
Glock Model 17, 9 mm semi-automatic weapon, fired at least 6 bullets
at Cavazos, 2 of which entered his body beside the right and left
should straps of the protective vest the trooper was wearing,
The car stopped by Casavos turned out to be stolen. "And
as I stepped out the car, it was like something had just took over
me that I couldn't understand," Weeks testified at his 1994 trial. "It
was like something - I felt like something - the best way I can
describe it is like something - I can't say something. I knew what
it - well, to me, I felt like it was evil - evil spirit or something."
Both of Cavazos' children, Leslie Susan Cavazos-Almagia,
26, of California, and Trevor Virgilio Cavazos, 23, of Virginia,
have written letters to the governor asking that Weeks' life be
The trooper's wife, Linda Cavazos, has expressed her desire
for the state's punishment to be carried out. Powell said that in a
state agency with 1,500 troopers, it is impossible to know how
everyone feels about the scheduled execution of Weeks.
execution is carried out, he hopes it will act as a deterrent, he
said. "To have someone just come out and shoot him because they were
afraid to go to jail for a stolen car...," Powell said, pausing
before adding, "For me personally, I feel like it's closure. We reap
what we sow, I guess. Police put themselves out there every night so
people can sleep at night. We have to have something that makes
people think twice."
Craig W. Floyd, chairman of the National Law
Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, a Washington, D.C.-based
organization, said he remembers Cavazos' murder because the case was
local, and the trooper's wife has attended several tributes at the
D.C. memorial. "I remember how devastating it was, for (Linda
Cavazos) in particular," Floyd said. "It shattered a life. A life of
He said he hopes Weeks' execution will bring "closure''
to Cavazos' wife. Floyd also spoke about the "solidarity and support"
of fellow officers when one of their own is killed in the line of
He said officers from all over the country will travel when a
fellow officer is killed, as was the case following the murders of
Capitol police officers John Gibson and Jacob Chestnut in July 1998.
"There is this amazing sense of brotherhood and sisterhood that
comes from being a law enforcement officer," Floyd said. "Their
mortality is very fragile and when an officer is gunned down in the
manner Trooper Cavazos was ... it reminds all of these officers that
it could happen to them at any time."
Virginia Executes Trooper's Killer; Victim's
Children Asked for Life Sentence
March 17, 2000
JARRATT, Va. (AP) -- A man who gunned down a
Virginia state trooper has been executed by injection over the
objections of the policeman's children. In a final statement, Lonnie
Weeks Jr. said he was sorry "for everything I've done to the Cavazos
family, my family, to everyone around the world -- and I just thank
the Cavazos family for what they've tried to do for me. I love them."
He had been condemned for the 1993 slaying of Trooper Jose M.
Cavazos. His execution was opposed by the trooper's grown children,
one of whom spoke with Weeks a week ago.
Weeks lost final appeal
Weeks, 27, was scheduled to be executed last
September. But with about two hours remaining, the U.S. Supreme
Court stayed the execution to hear Weeks' appeal, which argued that
the Prince William County jury that convicted Weeks was confused by
the sentencing instructions.
The jury twice asked the judge for
further instructions, and one juror said after the verdict that she
didn't know she could opt for a lesser sentence. In a 5-4 decision
in January, the justices ruled that the instructions were clear and
that Weeks could be executed.
Slain Trooper's Children Want His Killer Spared
By Robert Anthony Phillips -
U.S. News & World
March 14, 2000
JARRAT, Va. (APBnews.com) -- The two surviving
children of a state trooper murdered in 1993 have written letters to
the governor asking him to spare the life of their father's killer.
Lonnie Weeks Jr., 27, is scheduled to be executed by lethal
injection Thursday at 9 p.m. for the 1993 murder of Trooper Jose
Weeks has admitted shooting Cavazos after he stopped
the stolen car he was riding in on Interstate 95. However, while
Linda Cavazos, the trooper's widow, reportedly wants Weeks to pay
with his life, her two adult children, Leslie Cavazos-Almagia and
Trevor Cavazos, have written letters to Gov. James Gilmore III
asking that his sentence be commuted to life in prison. Two hours
before Weeks was scheduled to die in September 1999, the U.S.
Supreme Court stayed his execution.
The 'trauma of another killing'
Now, a new execution date has been set, and
Timothy M. Richardson, one of Weeks' attorneys, has cited the slain
officer's children in his updated clemency petition to Gilmore. "The
adult children of Jose Cavazos want Lonnie Weeks, the man who
murdered their father, to live," the petition states. "They believe
that commuting his sentence to life imprisonment without the
possibility of parole punishes Mr. Weeks sufficiently and
appropriately while sparing them the trauma of another killing."
In the petition, Richardson quotes extensively from the letters the
Cavazos children have written. He also includes statements from two
jurors who also are asking that Weeks be saved from lethal injection.
Trooper's daughter chats with inmate
Richardson said Cavazos-Almagia had a telephone
conversation with Weeks last Thursday. He said he didn't know the
specifics of the conversation, however. "I'm told that they
discussed both their feelings and a desire for forgiveness,"
Neither Linda Cavazos nor her son could be reached
for comment. Cavazos-Almagia wished not to speak to APBnews.com
about the impending execution. In her August 1999 letter to Gilmore,
Cavazos-Almagia said that executing Weeks will not bring her father
back and could lead the killer's young children to follow in his
The condemned man has two children, ages 8 and 9, one of
whom Richardson says visits Weeks on death row regularly. Cavazos-Almagia,
27, wrote, "But will his death bring my father back from the dead?
Will it set the record straight? Will I, his child, feel less grief?
The answer to these questions is 'no.' "I do not agree with the
death penalty in this case. I worry that his children will suffer
and be angry. Possibly, they will be more inclined to repeat their
father's life out of anger and frustration."
From hate to forgiveness
Trevor Cavazos, who was 16 when his father was
killed, echoed his sister's feelings in a letter to Gilmore. "I do
not believe that executing Lonnie Weeks is just," Trevor Cavazos
wrote. "At the time of my father's death, I personally would have
loved to harm Lonnie Weeks, but that was pure hate, and I've grown
up at lot since then," Trevor Cavazos said in the letter to Gilmore.
"Now I know that forgiveness is better than vengeance, and that love
is better than hate. "To put closure to this, all I can say is that
everyday our society is fighting violence, or better yet the violent
cycle of life. Please, break this cycle by sparing Lonnie Weeks
life, and show the state is compassionate, kind, forgiving and truly
loving, and not vengeful, hateful, inflexible, and above all that
the state is not 'God.'" Although Linda Cavazos reportedly favors
execution, she is said to respect her children's opinions.
State still wants Weeks to die
The revelation that the family was split over
Week's execution first became public in 1999 when the Times-Dispatch
of Richmond obtained a copy of the original clemency petition filed
by Richardson, which included the letters by the Cavazos children.
The fact that the slain trooper's children are asking for Weeks'
life to be spared, however, isn't moving state prosecutors. "We are
statutorily obligated to uphold the sentence of the court," said
David Botkins, spokesman for the attorney general's office. "It is
our opinion that the execution move forward. It was a brutal,
heinous crime. All of law enforcement in Virginia shudders at the
loss of one of their own." "It's unusual that the family split like
that," said Paul Ebert, a Prince William Commonwealth attorney, who
prosecuted Weeks and urged that he be sentenced to death. "The
mother favors execution, and the two children oppose it. People have
their own ideas."
Fate in the governor's hands
Richardson said he has filed no further court
appeals and that the convicted cop killer's fate now lies with
Gilmore. Richardson said he filed the second set of updated clemency
petitions Friday, urging Gilmore to grant Weeks clemency because he
has admitted responsibility and showed remorse.
Richardson also said
the jurors were confused into thinking they couldn't give Weeks a
life sentence, and that former prison guards and a prison counselor
are urging his life be spared. Police said that on Feb. 24, 1993,
Cavazos was assigned to patrol Interstate 95 in Prince William
County when he made a routine traffic stop near the southbound
Potomac Mills exit ramp in Dale City.
He had been a trooper since
1985. On probation for selling marijuana, Weeks was a passenger in a
stolen car driven by his uncle, Louis Dukes. Weeks reportedly fired
two 9 mm bullets at the trooper. Dukes was sentenced to life in
prison plus 12 years but will become eligible for yearly parole
review in 2005, according to the state Department of Corrections.
'The devil made me do it'
After he was found guilty of murder, Weeks
testified in the mitigation aspect of the trial -- during which the
jury had to decide whether to give him a death sentence. In
explaining why he shot the officer, Weeks said it was as if an "evil
spirit" willed him. "He basically said, 'The devil made me do it,'"
Ebert said the gun Weeks used to kill Cavazos previously
had been used to commit another murder and was given to Weeks to
hold. "This case was every police officer's nightmare," Ebert said.
"You pull someone over for a traffic violation and wind up being
Every officer can relate to that. This trooper was very
understanding. He wasn't really a hard-nosed cop." In January, Weeks
came within a vote of getting a new trial when the U.S. Supreme
Court voted 5-4 to uphold the constitutionality of his conviction.
Lawyers had argued that the judge's instructions to the jury were
misunderstood, and that several jurors wanted to spare his life.
A remorseful killer?
Richardson is portraying Weeks as a remorseful
man who has taken responsibility for the crime. He said Weeks, a
former high school football star and "devout Christian," was at one
time recruited for an athletic scholarship but instead chose not to
go to college so he could support his then-pregnant girlfriend.
clemency petition submitted to Gilmore states that Weeks made a
series of "awful decisions" that helped unravel his life and led to
him stealing a car and killing the trooper. These included drug
dealing and drug use. The National Black Police Association, a
35,000-member organization composed of minority law enforcement
officers, also has called for Weeks' life to be spared.
Weeks granted stay of execution
High Sports Star Killed a Virginia State Trooper
Associated Press -
Thursday, September 2, 1999
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday granted
Lonnie Weeks Jr. of Fayetteville a stay of execution less than two
hours before he was to be put to death for the murder of a Virginia
state trooper. The court unanimously granted the stay shortly after
Weeks, 27, a former basketball star at Seventy-First
High School, was scheduled to die by injection at 9 p.m. for killing
Trooper Jose M. Cavazos during a traffic stop on Feb. 24, 1993,
along Interstate 95 in Prince William County.
Weeks confessed hours
later. The Rev. Bob West, Weeks’ minister, was with him at
Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Va., when he got word of
the stay. Weeks was prepared to die, West said, but “he was ecstatic
that he now can live to some point in time.”
The Supreme Court agreed to review just one
question Weeks raised in his appeal: When jurors tell the judge they
don’t understand instructions and ask whether they can consider a
sentence less than death, even if one or more aggravating factors
making a death sentence an option are found, does the Constitution
require that the judge clarify that a death sentence is not
mandatory and that mitigating factors also should be considered?
court likely will hear arguments in the case in December or January
and issue a decision by late June. If Weeks prevails, he could get a
new sentencing hearing. but his conviction would not be affected.
Cavazos’ two children had asked Gov. Jim Gilmore
to spare Weeks’ life, putting them at odds with the trooper’s widow.
Linda Cavazos said her adult children were entitled to their own
views. “But I am strengthened by my husband’s memory and ... I want
to see the punishment carried out,” she said. Attempts to reach Mrs.
Cavazos after the ruling were unsuccessful. Correspondence between
the Cavazos family and Weeks was attached to Weeks’ clemency
petition to Gilmore. “Lonnie, I forgive you for what you have done.
Unfortunately, your fate is out of my hands,” Leslie Cavazos-Almagia
wrote Weeks in an Aug. 18 letter. In a 1998 letter to Mrs. Cavazos,
Weeks wrote, “I am very sorry for all the pain I caused you and your
family. I know sorry will not bring your husband back, but I truly
am sorry and remorseful. (I) pray for you and your family every
night.” The governor had not ruled on the petition when the high
court granted the stay. Weeks’ lawyers could not be reached for
Weeks was captain of his high school basketball
team and won an athletic scholarship to Mount Olive College. He
dropped out of school to support a son he had fathered the summer
before his freshman year. In less than a year there was a second
son. He began selling drugs and carrying a handgun.
returning home from a family gathering in Washington in a stolen car
driven by his uncle when Cavazos, 50, pulled them over for speeding
on southbound I-95 near Dale City. During his trial Weeks testified
that “as I stepped out of the car, it was just like something just
took over me that I couldn’t understand ... I felt like it was evil,
evil spirit or something. That’s how I feel. That’s the way I
describe it.” He shot Cavazos six times.
The gun used in the slaying was linked to the
killing of a soldier in Cumberland County a month earlier. Norman
Fletcher Howell Jr. pleaded guilty to the killing of George Mallet
Jr. and an unrelated sexual assault. He was given two concurrent
life sentences. Before Howell was arrested, he gave the murder
weapon to his cousin. According to Fayetteville police reports,
Howell’s cousin didn’t want it and gave it to Weeks.
Weeks v. Com.,
450 S.E.2d 379 (Va. 1994) (Direct Appeal).
On February 24, 1993, Virginia State Trooper Jose
M. Cavazos was shot and killed by defendant Lonnie Weeks, Jr., in
Prince William County. Subsequently, defendant was indicted for the
felonious, willful, deliberate, and premeditated homicide of the law
enforcement officer, when such killing was for the purpose of
interfering with the performance of the trooper's official duties.
Code § 18.2-31(6). Defendant also was charged with grand larceny of
a motor vehicle, Code § 18.2-95, and use of a firearm in the
commission of murder, Code § 18.2-53.1.
Following several pretrial hearings, including a
hearing on defendant's motion to suppress his confession, defendant
was tried by a single jury during five days in October 1993. As the
trial began, defendant pled guilty to the grand larceny and firearm
charges. The court subsequently sentenced defendant to imprisonment
for ten-year and three-year terms respectively on those charges.
The jury found the defendant guilty of the
capital murder charge and, during the second phase of the bifurcated
capital proceeding, the jury fixed the defendant's punishment at
death for the capital offense based upon the vileness predicate of
the capital murder sentencing statute. Code § 19.2-264.4.
trial court considered a probation officer's report and heard
testimony from the officer relevant to punishment. The court then
sentenced the defendant to death for the capital murder. The death
sentence is before us for automatic review under Code § 17-110.1(A),
see Rule 5:22. As required by statute, we will consider not only the
trial errors enumerated by the defendant but also whether the
sentence of death was imposed under the influence of passion,
prejudice, or any other arbitrary factor, and whether the sentence
is excessive or disproportionate to the penalty imposed in similar
cases. Code § 17-110.1(C).
There is no conflict about any relevant fact in
the case. In early February 1993, defendant, who was age 20, a North
Carolina resident, and on probation for a 1992 drug conviction,
participated in the burglary of a residence in the Fayetteville,
North Carolina area.
During the course of that crime, defendant
obtained a set of keys to a 1987 Volkswagen Jetta automobile parked
at the residence, and stole the vehicle. Later that month, defendant
drove the vehicle to Washington, D.C., intending to sell it or trade
it for drugs.
Defendant carried in the vehicle a Glock Model 17,
nine millimeter, semi- automatic pistol loaded with hollow-point
bullets. According to the testimony, the bullets were designed for
police use, not target practice or hunting; this type of bullet is
referred to as a "man-stopper."
During the late evening of February 23, defendant
was riding as a passenger in the vehicle being driven by his uncle,
21-year-old Lewis J. Dukes, Jr., a resident of the District of
Columbia. The pair was travelling en route from Washington to
Richmond southbound on Interstate Route 95.
Around midnight, Trooper
Cavazos was operating radar from his marked police vehicle parked in
the highway medium monitoring southbound traffic. The Volkswagen
driven by Dukes passed the trooper's position at a high rate of
The officer activated his vehicle's emergency lights and
proceeded to chase the vehicle occupied by defendant. After
travelling a brief distance, and passing other vehicles by driving
on the right shoulder of the highway, Dukes brought the car to a
stop on the Dale City exit ramp, in a dark, remote area.
The trooper pulled his patrol car to a stop
behind the Volkswagen, which he approached on foot on the driver's
side. Upon the officer's request, Dukes alighted and was standing
toward the left rear of the Volkswagen when the trooper asked
defendant to step out of the vehicle.
Defendant complied with the officer's request and
alighted on the right side of the vehicle as the trooper was near
the left side. As defendant left the vehicle he was carrying the
fully loaded pistol.
He then fired at least six bullets at the
officer, two of which entered his body beside the right and left
shoulder straps of the protective vest the trooper was wearing.
officer was immediately rendered unconscious and fell to the
pavement, dying within minutes at the scene with his police weapon
in its "snapped" holster.
Defendant, with Dukes as a passenger, then drove
the Volkswagen from the scene and parked it on the lot of a nearby
Defendant returned to the scene of the crime on
foot and retrieved Dukes' District of Columbia driver's license that
had been dropped on the pavement. Defendant rejoined Dukes, and they
were found by police shortly thereafter in the parking lot of a