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Posted at 3:30 PM ET, 12/21/2010

Death in DC9 case ruled a homicide

By Paul Duggan
Paul Duggan


A man who died in a controversial incident outside the popular DC9 nightclub in October was a victim of a homicide, the D.C. medical examiner's office has concluded.

Ali Ahmed Mohammed, 27, of Silver Spring, died of "excited delirium associated with arrhythmogenic cardiac anomalies, alcohol intoxication and physical exertion with restraint manner," the office said Tuesday afternoon, offering no further explanation.

That was listed as the "cause" of death. The manner of death was "homicide," the office said in a statement.

Mohammed died Oct. 15 after allegedly throwing at least one brick through the front window of the club, in the 1900 block of Ninth Street NW. Police said Mohammed was then chased by five men -- four employees and a co-owner of the club -- and died after a physical encounter with them on the street.

The five men -- including then-co-owner William Spieler, who has since disassociated himself from the club -- initially were charged with second-degree murder in what Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier called a "savage" case of "vigilante justice." The charges were later dismissed, however, because the medical examiner's office could not immediately determine the cause and manner of Mohammed's death.

Although criminal charges in the case were dismissed because of the initial lack of autopsy findings, authorities said they would not be legally barred from refiling charges if new information warranted such a move.

The autopsy finding of homicide appears to make a new criminal case likely.

But late Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Attorney's office released a statement saying that officials are still investigating.

"The Medical Examiner has now completed an autopsy related to the unfortunate death of Ali Ahmed Mohammed." the statement said. "The Medical Examiner's forensics examination has concluded that a variety of factors led to the death of Mr. Mohammed, and we intend to carefully study these conclusions as part of our legal analysis of this tragic incident.
"Our deliberate and comprehensive factual inquiry continues, and we again express our sincere appreciation to the family of Mr. Mohammed for their patience and understanding as we work to reach a just conclusion to our investigation."

[This post has been updated.]


By Paul Duggan  | December 21, 2010; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  Homicide, Paul Duggan, The District, Updates  
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Comments

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has confirmed that the manner of death was a homicide, and the cause described like this: Excited Delirium Associated With Arrhythmogenic Cardiac Anomalies, Alcohol Intoxication and Physical Exertion With Restraint. Sooo, he was hopped up on booze and drugs and was tazed by the cops-- makes sense now. The employees didn't beat him, they restrained him as they said they did. Funny, the report doesn't mention any signs of trauma, visible bruises---- sounds like an MPD cover up to me.

Posted by: Aimhigh2000 | December 21, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"excited delirium associated with arrhythmogenic cardiac anomalies, alcohol intoxication and physical exertion with restraint manner,"

that does not sound like a homicide to me. from that description, it seems like all anyone else did was try to restrain the victim. they don't mention the damage from any blows or kicks etc. The guy was intoxicated, he was chased and restrained and died. that does not sound like a homicide to me. Someone going around throwing bricks thru windows is indeed in need of being restrained.

Posted by: MarilynManson | December 21, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

It is also associated with drug abuse, specifically cocaine--- add alcohol to the mix and it sounds like he put up a fight, they restrained him and his heart exploded. Sounds more like alcohol poisoning with drug overdose as a contributing factor. I'd love to be a lawyer on this team---- I think the ME will end up with egg on their face.

Posted by: Aimhigh2000 | December 21, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

"excited delirium associated with arrhythmogenic cardiac anomalies, alcohol intoxication and physical exertion with restraint manner,"
++++++++++++++++

Yup, sounds like they held him down and scared him half-to-death; the alcohol did the rest.

I expect no one seriously desired or intended the victim's death; and it sounds like it's going to take a helluva prosecutor to prove otherwise--rightly or wrongly. Those accused who can afford better-than-public defenders will likely lose a lot of dough, but not their liberty. Plea bargains may fell the others.

BTW: I have no personal connection at all to this case.

Posted by: IncredulousAsEver | December 21, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

aren't there eye witness accounts of the guy being stomped b the folks that chased him and caught him? i don't know the lay translation of the cause of death, but homicide means he did not die due to his own actions. be it coked up kid or 95 year old with congested arteries. if you did something to cause his or her death, it's a crime.

Posted by: oknow1 | December 21, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

"if you did something to cause his or her death, it's a crime."

Not so. One can cause another's death with no fault (self-defense, for example) or through non-criminal negligence (auto accident, medical malpractice, etc.).

The specific findings here do suggest that he wasn't beaten. No blunt trauma, for example. Is there enough to warrant prosecution? Maybe, maybe not, though it would seem the harshest charges would be manslaughter.

Enough to sustain a civil suit brought by the dead man's family? Possibly, although the dead man would likely be to some degree contributorily negligent for (a) tossing the brick, (b) being drunk, and (c) resisting.

This story isn't over yet, but it almost cetainly will mean more trouble for the DC9 ex-employees and could also put the bar's liquor license back in jeopardy.

Posted by: Meridian1 | December 21, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

oknow1 is right. It doesn't sound like being drunk killed him. It was the restraint, the extreme fear, and the struggle. And he didn't do it to himself. Like oknow1 said, if you were the one physically restraining and scaring the kid to the point of hysteria and heart failure, and he died, that death is on you. It's murder.

Posted by: crzytwnman | December 21, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

meridian1 - I get your point, but this wasn't self defense and there is criminal negligence for "certain" incidents when the harm is beyond the normal incident. I did not say it is always murder, but it's a crime.

I'll be the 1st to say I don't know what happened, but i find it odd when a normally healthy but drunk person dies after being "restrained", it's the victim's fault. I'm not sure if it's DC9's issue or MPD. but somebody is responsible for the guy's death.

Posted by: oknow1 | December 21, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Aimhigh2000 wrote: "He was hopped up on booze and drugs and was tazed by the cops-- makes sense now." What story are you reading, you go on to say "sounds like an MPD cover up to me." Sounds like you a cop hater! Read the story again, the cops never touched him, he was fighting with the employees of DC9.

Posted by: Jet_Mech | December 21, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Glad you finally learned how to use the word "allegedly."

Posted by: twps | December 21, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Why are people saying the cops tazed him? First of all, he wasn't fighting the cops. Second, no police in DC (MPD, Secret Service, Park Police, etc.) even cary tazers! Quit making things up; it makes you sound stupid.

Posted by: davidreiss | December 21, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I hope charges are not filed again.

Posted by: Jsuf | December 21, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

JetMech, I am no cop hater, being a former cop. And, if some of you read the other articles out there on the story (with more info than WaPo prints), and, if you research the ME's report, you will find the information I found. From the looks of the ME report, (and I would love to see the toxicology report), he was drunk, was most likely high on meth and or cocaine, and, because of his own actions, caused the situation in which he was restrained, causing himself to exert even more effort, thus inducing hyperthermia, leading to heart failure. No trauma, not severe beating, no internal injuries. This guy did it to himself through an unfortunate series of events.

Posted by: Aimhigh2000 | December 21, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

I gotta believe that someone has pictures of the event, on their cell phone cameras. Second, there should be contusions on the body, either from being struck, or the impact of falling. Let's see the details.

Posted by: Dave115 | December 21, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see the Prosecutor was thorough and totally impartial. Seems like many non-lawyers on here are litigating the case online, lacking all the facts.

These five now get their day in court to answer to an objective judge. A man is unfortunately dead, after what all accounts say was a vigilante beating- there's no whitewashing that fact.

Let's wait to see how a trained judge decides the case, as I doubt they will seek a jury trial.

Posted by: mm14 | December 21, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Whoa. Who are these commenters--the perpetrators, and/or their friends and family?

Eyewitness accounts squarely place the blame on the employees and now ex-owner for beating him to death.

He ran away, they attacked him---and beat and kicked him. end of story.

Posted by: chunche | December 21, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

p.s. mm14 said it better than I did.

Posted by: chunche | December 21, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

From the looks of the ME report, (and I would love to see the toxicology report), he was drunk, was most likely high on meth and or cocaine, and, because of his own actions, caused the situation in which he was restrained, causing himself to exert even more effort, thus inducing hyperthermia, leading to heart failure. No trauma, not severe beating, no internal injuries. This guy did it to himself through an unfortunate series of events.

Posted by: Aimhigh2000 | December 21, 2010 7:03 PM
------------------

What wild, reckless speculation. If you are truly a former police officer, such specious, uncritical analysis may well have sent many innocent people to prison.

Posted by: mm14 | December 21, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

If he had cocaine or meth or any other drug (other than, as noted, alcohol) in his system, the report would say so.

JFC, grow up.

Posted by: chunche | December 21, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

mm14--- I have only stated what has been reported-- out there from various sites for everyone to read. Contrary to some people on here, there are other news outlets out there. So mm14, as a former cop, I have done my research-- I don't just read WaPo. The toxicology report would have the amount of alcohol and/or other drugs in his system. If anyone reads what the ME has indicated, what he died from 'usually' indicates some form of cocaine or meth. The ME only released the cause of death-- not the full report.

Posted by: Aimhigh2000 | December 21, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

mm14--- I have only stated what has been reported-- out there from various sites for everyone to read. Contrary to some people on here, there are other news outlets out there. So mm14, as a former cop, I have done my research-- I don't just read WaPo. mm14--- I have only stated what has been reported-- out there from various sites for everyone to read. Contrary to some people on here, there are other news outlets out there. So mm14, as a former cop, I have done my research-- I don't just read WaPo.

The ME only released the cause of death-- not the full report.

Posted by: Aimhigh2000 | December 21, 2010 8:30 PM
-------------------

So we agree- you do not have all the facts, just hearsay, potential misinformation from multiple sources. Let's get the facts. Absolutely no need for speculation.

Posted by: mm14 | December 21, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

yeap, the killer's friends and relatives are out in full force to defend killers and murderers.
Yeap he was doing well enough to throw a brick and had all the energy to run but all of a sudden he dies from alcohol and drugs eh?. coincident that the 5 men chased this guy but he dies from other causes.
No no the people who chased him have nothing to do with this. it was an accident.

Yeap so much from white trash hippies that hang out there.

Oh now it is the police who did it eh?

heheheh.

I see how hippies and white trash think now.

Posted by: cloned777777 | December 22, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

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