Third man charged with community activist’s death

Third man charged with community activist’s death

Prince George’s County police charged a third man with the murder of local activist Lenny Harris on the day friends and family gathered to remember the outspoken community advocate.

Tyrone Lewis, 26, was in the custody of Fairfax County police on a grand larceny charge Monday when authorities in Maryland named him in connection with Harris’ disappearance in September and eventual death. Police arrested two other men, Ivan Newman, 20, and Linwood Johnson, 49, last week.

Authorities told the Washington Post they believe robbery served as the motive. The trio arranged for the 53-year-old Del Ray resident to meet them, shot him and later dumped his body into a 20-foot well in Fort Washington.

Police recovered Harris’ body late last month after receiving an anonymous tip pointing them to the vacant property with the well.

Harris’ murder and the circumstances of his death have shocked the community. Friends, including Mayor Bill Euille and motivational speaker Tony Suggs, lamented the loss to the city as details of the crime trickled out into the public.

Founder of the annual One Love Festival, Harris championed Alexandria’s poor and minority populations. He most recently spoke out in defense of public housing residents near Chatham Square when neighbors last summer complained about a perceived rise in crime.

Newman and Johnson face first and second degree murder charges. Police also charged Newman with kidnapping, armed robbery and robbery. He is expected in court for a preliminary hearing March 1. Johnson is due for a February 28 hearing.

Police believe they’ve rounded up everyone connected to his murder. They do not anticipate any further arrests.