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Revolver seized in speed-hump killing

The backpack taken from a man accused of killing a Fairfax County man over a speed hump Sunday night contained a Smith & Wesson .38-caliber revolver with one shot fired, court records filed Wednesday showed.

Stephen A. Carr, 48, worked with county officials to slow traffic on Field Master Drive in the Springfield area, and earlier this year a speed hump was installed in front of his house.

In June, David A. Patton, 44, physically confronted Carr about the speed-hump, neighbors said, and was later charged with assault.

On Sunday night, witnesses told police that Patton broke into Carr's house as he watched television, used plastic ties to bind Carr and his girlfriend, and then fatally shot Carr when he tried to free himself from the bindings.

The girlfriend was eventually able to call police. Officers arrived and arrested Patton in Carr's backyard, and seized Patton's backpack.

In a search warrant return filed in Fairfax Circuit Court on Wednesday, crime scene Detective Michael S. Lamper Sr. wrote that he had found three "large heavy duty black wire zip ties," some duct tape, a pack of unopened rubber gloves, and a Smith & Wesson model 15-3 revolver, with five loaded rounds and one expended cartridge case.

The Smith & Wesson 15-3 is a classic six-shot revolver, widely used by law enforcement officers until the 1990s, when many departments switched to higher-capacity semiautomatic pistols.

Patton, who is charged with second-degree murder and is being held in the Fairfax jail without bond, is a former Alexandria City sheriff's deputy. Alexandria Undersheriff Tony Davis said Patton worked in the sheriff's office from 1990 to 1992, but could not say why he left the office.

Police seized a "deputy badge" from Patton's townhouse on Conservation Way, around the corner from Carr's house, Monday morning. Davis said employees are required to return all equipment when they leave the sheriff's office, but that it was possible that Patton bought and kept a spare badge while he worked for the sheriff’s office.

Davis said Patton would have had to return any firearms issued by the sheriff's office, and that there was virtually no chance that his service revolver was used 18 years later in a homicide.

Patton is due in court Thursday morning for the alleged assault on Carr in June. It was not clear Wednesday how prosecutors would proceed with that case.

-- Tom Jackman

By Tom Jackman  |  September 15, 2010; 6:02 PM ET
Categories:  Fairfax , From the Courthouse , Homicide , Tom Jackman , Updates  
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Comments

I've read about many senseless killings in the nearly 50 years that I have lived in the D.C. metropolitan area. Most of them involve juveniles settling minor scores or family disputes.

This has to be the most senseless of them all. A 44 year old man killing another 48 year old man over a speed bump.

Posted by: esch | September 16, 2010 2:30 AM | Report abuse

Lemme guess, the killer drives a Dodge Ram?

Posted by: wewintheylose | September 16, 2010 2:42 AM | Report abuse

Lemme guess, the killer is an avid gun rights advocate.

Posted by: pjohn2 | September 16, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

why is this guy being charged with 2nd degree murder? he broke into the house armed with gun and wire ties. his intentions were pretty obvious, he was not there to party!

Posted by: astroman215aolcom | September 16, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

pjohn2 -- please stop using the WaPo to make ridiculous views. I am an avid gun rights advocate, and member of the NRA - I practice responsible gun ownership and handling, and I have never and would never use any of my firearms in any irresonsible or illegal way. Do not use that arguement to try to make a case against people that choose to exercise their right to own and keep firearms for protection and recreation responsibly. It is not more valid than trying to ban automobiles after a drunk driver uses one to kill someone during an accident.

Posted by: HotelGuest | September 16, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Astroman said "why is this guy being charged with 2nd degree murder? he broke into the house armed with gun and wire ties. his intentions were pretty obvious, he was not there to party!"

Yes....WHY only 2nd degree murder????????

Posted by: DecafDrinker | September 16, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

He is only being charged with 2nd degree murder when it should be first. But fear not - if he was walking around his own house naked and a peeping Tom looked through his window he would be charged with indecent exposure.

Posted by: kjaj | September 16, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Why only 2nd degree murder? May be he was a former cop. Don't be shock if this guy will walk free. The guy pissed off the former policeman so he deserved some punishment.

Posted by: drkly | September 16, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I think that there's a reason that Patton was only a cop for two years. Obvious mental illness maybe? You don't do something as premeditated as this without having some serious long-standing problems. At least the level of comments on this story have improved. When the story first hit I actually saw several brilliant commenters blame it on speed bumps (buickbill). With Patton's mentality, he might have killed someone over anything at all. This is one sick pup.

Posted by: curtb | September 16, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I'm bothered by the 2nd degree murder charge as well. So that means someone in Virginia can (1)stalk, threaten and harass you; (2)plan your demise and be sane enough to know that murder is wrong by methodically packing and then transporting to the crime scene materials to cover it up, such as rubber gloves; (3)break into your house; (4)hold captive you and your family or friends; (5) execute you; and (6)flee from the scene once 911 is called (another sign he knew that murder is wrong and thus he is/was sane at the time) -- and NOT receive a premeditated murder charge? Hmmmm... glad I no longer live in your state...

Posted by: jjjjjjj | September 16, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Regarding 2nd degree murder charge, police often file lesser charges initially because they are clearly supported by the evidence at hand, and the lesser charges are sufficient to arrest and hold the suspect. Prosecutors review the evidence and upgrade the charges as the evidence warrants.

Posted by: pundito | September 16, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

HotelGuest, No one suggests that you are not a responsible gun owner. I am sure you are. But this Patton guy was a nut.

Having a gun at the ready made this sicko dangerous to all of us.

Your motor vehicle analogy doesn't work. We have to register our cars, and apply for licenses to drive.

Posted by: sec205 | September 16, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if the killer had a properly registered gun. I'm all for responsible gun ownership but the loopholes for purchasing a gun in Virginia are big enough to drive a bus through.
You have to have a license to cut hair for goodness sake but any wing nut can walk into a gun show and buy a gun. Scary.

Posted by: ALLOST | September 16, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I hope someone investigates whether this guy has used his old sheriff's badge to impersonate a police officer in the past.

Posted by: buffysummers | September 16, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

... At least the level of comments on this story have improved. When the story first hit I actually saw several brilliant commenters blame it on speed bumps (buickbill). ..

Amen

Posted by: mloaks | September 16, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

The motor vehicle analogy doesn't work? It does work! There are a lot of stolen cars and unlicensed drivers on the streets. What about the 3 men that died in on Marlboro Pike in Forestville this morning driving on the wrong side? It didn't matter if that SUV was registered or not did it? The gentleman said "responsible" gun ownership. I too am a responsible gun owner. I compete in leagues and fire at least 2-400 rounds a week, about 15,000 rounds a year. Therefore I take pride in using my firearm properly along with the hundreds of others whom I compete with. No "responsible" gun owner will use his/her gun the way David A. Patton did because we know the laws governing firearm usage. However, we're human and accidents happen. This is what gun safety courses are for. But that was no accident! That crime was conducted like a hit and I don't understand how how that can be charged 2nd degree.

Posted by: RobertH3 | September 16, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

RobertH3, I respect your (and everyone's) right to bear arms. That said, there is a terrible unease in this country over gun toting people who seem to believe we are in constant danger, which necessitates having a gun with them wherever they go. They want to take their guns into bars. They want to take their guns onto college campuses. They want to take their guns places that civilized people feel threatened by gun toting folks. This is the new breed of gun owner that people talk about when they bring it up in blogs like this. We have the NRA to thank for this heightened sense of fear, as they have spent millions pushing the right to bear arms, while forsaking their original role as gun safety advocates. And we have conservative lawmakers and justices to thank as well. When did it become OK to return to the wild west? That's what I think anyway. People with a renewed sensibility of anarchy want to carry guns to intimidate. Nothing more.

Posted by: swatkins1 | September 16, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

The gun/automobile analogy does not work. Hand guns are designed for one purpose - to shoot and kill. Automobiles are designed for transportation. Nobody buys a car for the purpose of killing someone, though that sometimes happens!

Posted by: dottie_b | September 16, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Swatkins1, I understand how you feel and I'm trying to change your mind or convert you to pro gun ownership. That's an individual decision. And I have no answers only suggestions. And as an African American who grew up in DC, I don't think that there are many people who lived under more threatening conditions as we do. There are some, but not many more. Darfur comes to mind. Just kidding, whole difference subject. But the key is responsible gun ownership. Gun owners feel threatned too, but it's irresponsible and unsafe gun handling that we don't like, not guns itself. Try going to a shotgun range especially during a tournament. You will be around hundreds of guns and at large tournaments, thousands and hundreds of thousands of rounds. Guns going off all day long. Ahh, the sounds..., nothing like it. People of all ages, men, women and children. And you'll me some of the nicest people too. Lets be clear, I'm not justifying irresponsible gun ownership and practice. Every example you gave is one of irresponsible gun ownership. The idea behind concealed weaponry is concealment. You've got to know that a whole lot of people wouldn't hesitate to shoot me, including the police. And I'm 51. Gun owners should be evaluated often. With regular qualifying or matches where they can be evaluated. No gun owner, especially handgun owner, should be allowed to just buy a gun and stick it in a holster or waistband or under the bed and thats it. Evaluation, just like driving or your job. Imagine that, you get evaulated regularly for job performance, but not gun ownership! The police evaluate drivers all the time don't they? Should be the same with gun owners. Now, I grew up in DC. Yes DC, around GA ave and Kennedy Sts. That's east of the park and I lived here during the murder capital years. And during those years I was in my mid 20's and moved out at 33, the average age of the victims. I've had guns pointed at me more than once and have been shot at once. So, I know what it means to not feel, but be threatend. Try riding the 70/GA ave bus everyday! I now live in Maryland and was born in Florence, Alabama, a right to carry state. I've visited there many times and have never felt any more threatned then I do here in DC. In fact, less. Why, my late grandfather even carried his revolver to the barbershop and chances are others had one too. Shotguns in pickup truck racks, rebel flags, etc. My grandmother has his and her own 38. Guns to people who handle them often and consistently practice gun safety habits they look at guns the way they do a shoe or a hat. It's just another tool like screwdriver or a pair of pliers. We use them for what they are designed for. I think if you visited a few ranges and watched shooters. You don't have to shoot, just watch them. You might have a different opinion about gun ownership. It isn't like the movies and TV.

Posted by: RobertH3 | September 16, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

The man was a former law enforcement official. Of course he had a weapon; this is not a right-to-bear arms issue. He is initially charged with second degree murder because the police do not have enough evidence yet to prove premeditated (first degree) murder. If his intent was to kill why bring the restraints? Why not just kill Mr. Carr when he entered the house? They might not have evidence to prove breaking and entering (a felony) to charge him with felony murder. Let the police develop their case and collect evidence.

Posted by: atkissonjim | September 16, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

These men are (were) my neighbors. Mr. Carr had this speed hump installed to protect many kids who walk to the elementary school near his home. Mr. Patton has been harassing him for months, riding by his home blowing the horn, standing outside of his house yelling at him, attempting to assault him at his home, and then ultimately killing him in front of a loved one. I have to ride by Mr. Carr's house every day now, and have seen his family and friends at his home cleaning his house and praying and mourning together. Mr. Patton was let go from his former job as a deputy because he was "unstable." Let's hope the Fairfax County Courts get this right.

Posted by: hadley4 | September 16, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Like a number of others, I'm scratching my head as to why he has only been charged with 2nd degree rather than 1st degree murder. Just wanted to say thank you to those who are providing possible explanations.

Posted by: seaduck2001 | September 16, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

These men are (were) my neighbors. Mr. Carr had this speed hump installed to protect many kids who walk to the elementary school near his home. Mr. Patton has been harassing him for months, riding by his home blowing the horn, standing outside of his house yelling at him, attempting to assault him at his home, and then ultimately killing him in front of a loved one. I have to ride by Mr. Carr's house every day now, and have seen his family and friends at his home cleaning his house and praying and mourning together. Mr. Patton was let go from his former job as a deputy because he was "unstable." Let's hope the Fairfax County Courts get this right.
Posted by: hadley4
_______________________________________
It'a impossible to imagine what Mr. Carr's family and friends are going through. It's also very hard to imagine what his neighbors are going through. My heart goes out to all of you.

Posted by: seaduck2001 | September 16, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

What would this responsible gun owner have done if a waitress had brought his steak well-done to his table? A speed bump. And, second dgree? He went home, got his gun, returned and shot the guy. The scuffle notwithstanding, there was intent.

Posted by: jckdoors | September 16, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Mr. Carr wasn't sitting there watching TV with a gun holstered or next to him. Maybe this sad situation could have turned out differently.
my 2cents

Posted by: not4n | September 16, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I am the only one to notice that the Killer "is a former Alexandria City sheriff's deputy" ?

So to all you gun-control advocates - the great training LEOs get does not mean the person will be an angel and perfect citizen. Stop blaming the gun, the gun did not walk into victim's house.

Posted by: voiceinthedesert1 | September 16, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

"Stop blaming the gun, the gun did not walk into victim's house."
Posted by: voiceinthedesert1
------------

And Patton did not walk into the victim's house without the gun.

Posted by: dottie_b | September 16, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

VA does a great job of giving a gun to anyone....even the mentally ill and angry.

Posted by: ariesgirl4 | September 16, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

"Let me guess only 2nd degree because he's not Black. WOW"

What a stupid comment. He's charged with second degree because there's no evidence at this point that killing was what he intended when he went there. It may have happened because of circumstances - the victim was about to get free of the restraints and he didn't know how else to stop him.

If you charge 1st degree, you have to prove it, or the defendant goes free. Better to use a charge that you know you can make stick. Either way, he's not going to have to worry about driving over any more speed bumps.

Posted by: Pamsm | September 16, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm not buying the "because he had restraints" defense for a 2nd degree murder charge. I think during premeditation of this crime the gunman was trying to be efficient (by bringing both restraints and gloves in his little backpack) and lessen the risk to himself -- if someone is cuffed they can't get away, call 911, pull out their own weapon and take you out, etc. And if you REALLY hate the person you're planning on killing, well, we all know what horrific crimes are committed against those who are restrained, cuffed, tied to the bed, whatever... I understand the filing of lesser charges at this point, but ultimately I can't imagine a clearer case for premeditated murder in the 1st degree.

Posted by: jjjjjjj | September 16, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

For all of you libtards castigating firearms owners, I suggest you move to new, York, California, Chicago, Maryland or DC.

All things considered, there is a reason why the crime rate is low in Virginia and responsible firearms owner uses these tools, responsibly.

What we have here is a fluke, committed by someone who is three-beers short of a six-pack. When a prosecutor files a case, he has the burden of proof to present to a judge and jury. It is easier to get a conviction on Murder 2 than Murder 1.

Now my take on speed bumps is the same as the fire departments' thoughout the nation. Ever see a pumper, hook and ladder or ambulance unit bounce around when transporting a patient or responding to a call, in which speed is a factor?

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | September 16, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

"Crime rate is low in VA" someone said. I read and hear this often on here, butsome crazy folk reside in VA. Often making national news, not just the local 11pm news.

VA Tech kid shooter.
Crazy

This fool.
Crazy as the Wild Wild West in 1830.

UVA shooting, which happened in VA, although the kids were from MD. Still happened where? VA

VA's electric chair has been busy frying fools for brazen murders for years. For a reason.

Posted by: morrisday1 | September 17, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Once again we are using a senseless act by a deranged individual to promote our own political ideas.
1 This is not about the gun or gun rights. Even in restricted areas like DC, Chicago, and New York, where citizens are not allowed to buy handguns, police can buy them.
2 If someone is insane enough to kill for no justifiable reason, then the tool that he uses to kill doesn't matter.
3 Using someone else's tragedy to regurgitate anti gun hysteria makes you the idiot. Guns are here whether we want them or not.
4 A truly insane killer will kill with or without the gun, and if you happen to be a 90 pound woman you cannot defend your own life without one.
5 If we ban all guns criminals will still get them. We have had restrictive gun laws since 1934 and they have not stopped criminals from obtaining and using guns. They have, however, made it hard if not impossible for good honest people to obtain them for defense.
6 It all comes back to, this is about the criminal. We have laws against murder, and they still happen. The law against murder makes it possible to prosecute the murderer, but it does not and it never has prevented murder from happening.
Most of us obey the law. Most of us agree that killing people is wrong. Most of us don't kill people. People that do kill, will kill no matter what weapons are available.
We are a herd of sheep preyed on by a few wolves, with even fewer sheep dogs to protect us. We are responsible for our own lives up to and including defending that life. If you don't learn and are unwilling to defend yourself then it is your fault. If your government does not allow you to defend yourself then it is their fault. There will always be predators but will you always meekly accept your role as prey?

Posted by: MKH0311 | September 17, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Once again we are using a senseless act by a deranged individual to promote our own political ideas.
1 This is not about the gun or gun rights. Even in restricted areas like DC, Chicago, and New York, where citizens are not allowed to buy handguns, police can buy them.
2 If someone is insane enough to kill for no justifiable reason, then the tool that he uses to kill doesn't matter.
3 Using someone else's tragedy to regurgitate anti gun hysteria makes you the idiot. Guns are here whether we want them or not.
4 A truly insane killer will kill with or without the gun, and if you happen to be a 90 pound woman you cannot defend your own life without one.
5 If we ban all guns criminals will still get them. We have had restrictive gun laws since 1934 and they have not stopped criminals from obtaining and using guns. They have, however, made it hard if not impossible for good honest people to obtain them for defense.
6 It all comes back to, this is about the criminal. We have laws against murder, and they still happen. The law against murder makes it possible to prosecute the murderer, but it does not and it never has prevented murder from happening.
Most of us obey the law. Most of us agree that killing people is wrong. Most of us don't kill people. People that do kill, will kill no matter what weapons are available.
We are a herd of sheep preyed on by a few wolves, with even fewer sheep dogs to protect us. We are responsible for our own lives up to and including defending that life. If you don't learn and are unwilling to defend yourself then it is your fault. If your government does not allow you to defend yourself then it is their fault. There will always be predators but will you always meekly accept your role as prey?

Posted by: MKH0311 | September 17, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

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