WASHINGTON — TON - The suspect arrested in the Washington, D.C., murder of a 71-year-old retired Army sergeant escaped Friday from his Superior Court holding cell, officials said.
According to the U.S. Marshals Service, how 24-year-old James Brewer escaped is still under investigation.
The Washington Post said Brewer may have walked out after switching court identification bracelets with a suspect in a less serious offense. Brewer was presented in D.C. Superior Court Friday on charge of first-degree murder while armed. He was being held without bail.
Brewer was arrested Thursday in Newport News, Va., in connection with the slaying of Solomon Reese, known in his southeast D.C. neighborhood for helping fellow veterans and selling cigarettes.
Reese, who grew up in Alabama and was the oldest son among 15 children, was shot June 27 during an apparent robbery attempt, police said. Police had recovered items allegedly taken from the apartment where Reese and his wife lived.
"Apprehending Brewer is a top priority," said Deputy U.S. Marshal David Neumann, spokesman for D.C. Superior Court. "With Brewer behind bars, the victims' family will be able to sleep better at night."
Brewer, also known as "Sticky," is considered armed and dangerous. He is known to travel to Newport News and has expressed interest in travel to Philadelphia, officials said.
A reward is being offered. Officials said anyone who sees Brewer should call the U.S. Marshals at 1-800-336-0102.