A Manassas man not only planned the 2010 Centreville home invasion that led to the death of a local man, but he also drove the perpetrators to the property and burned his truck afterward, a Fairfax County detective testified at a preliminary hearing Tuesday afternoon.
A federal judge in the Eastern District of Virginia courthouse in Alexandria found probable cause to send Stacy Lorenzo Reed's case to a grand jury, and ordered that he be held without bail. During the hearing, new details surfaced about what authorities believe Reed's role was in the crime, based on cell phone evidence and witness accounts.
Reed, 43, proposed the scheme to Tasheik Champean, one of the men who attempted to rob the home, said Detective Stephen Needels, of the Fairfax County Police Department. During the invasion, Jose Rosales Cardona, a Manassas Park resident who worked as the family handyman, was shot and killed.
The department's investigation showed that Reed allegedly had inside information about the Centreville family, who owned a check cashing business, and twice targeted them: once at their Prince William County business, and during the failed home invasion.
"In my opinion, he was the leader of the group," Needels said of Reed.
Needels said that Reynard Prather, another man who was sentenced this year for his role in the crime, told investigators that Reed drove him and Champean to a wooded area near the property on May 17, 2010. There, they waited for several hours before the man who they had targeted left the property. They snuck into the garage, where they planned to wait until he returned—but Cardona discovered them first.
Cardona was shot during the struggle that followed. Another man drove Champean and Prather away from the scene of the crime.
Although Prather previously denied firing the shot that killed Cardona, since his sentencing he has admitted doing so, Needels said. According to Prather, Reed drove somewhere outside the state and subsequently set the white truck, which was registered in his name, on fire.
"Had it not been for Mr. Reed, the crime may not have occurred," Needels said.
Reed's attorney, Marvin Miller, argued that Prather is not a credible witness because he identified Reed in February 2012 and authorities did not obtain warrants against Reed until December (a statement the prosecution did not dispute).
Miller, arguing that his client should have the opportunity for bail, said that there is no evidence to prove that Reed had any part in the crime.
"Exactly what he did or didn't do isn't known," Miller said.
Judge Theresa Carroll Buchanan found that prosecutors had proven probable cause for the charges—conspiracy to commit a Hobbs Act robbery, and aiding and abetting the using and carrying of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death—and denied bail.
"I find that the defendant is a danger to the community," she said.
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