Saturday, August 20, 2011
Black teen kills 92-year-old woman
Thelma Steele, a 92-year-old neighborhood matriarch, and William Fitts, a teenager who lived across the street, were like grandmother and grandson, family members said. She would buy him toys and gadgets for Christmas and his birthday. Recently — after Steele welcomed Fitts into her Forestville home — the 15-year-old black male bludgeoned her with her walking cane and stabbed her with a knife, law enforcement sources said. Steele, a secretary at a D.C. bank who had retired long ago, watched Fitts grow up from the window of her home on East Avenue, family members said. The black boy was adopted from a family in Brazil when he was 3 weeks old and he has lived in the house across the street from Steele’s ever since, family members said. Police said that they don’t know what sparked such a brutal attack, but that Steele’s home was ransacked and robbery may have been part of the motive. Prince George’s County homicide detectives considered Fitts a suspect after someone at a house in his neighborhood tried to use Steele’s credit card to buy synthetic marijuana online, said law enforcement sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Fitts was one of five people from the house who were brought in for questioning, and he soon admitted that he was involved in the killing, according to police and court papers. He said a knife found in his home was the murder weapon, police said. Fitts was charged as an adult with first-degree murder. After a brief hearing, Prince George’s District Judge Thurman H. Rhodes ordered that he be held without bond before a preliminary hearing.