Fugitive in 1997 slaying captured thanks to reader's tip

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Local,Crime,Scott McCabe

A man wanted for a 1997 slaying was arrested Thursday morning in the District, thanks to a tip from a reader of The Washington Examiner that came in hours after Lonnie Bowers was the subject of the paper's "Most Wanted" feature.

Bowers, 42, became the 36th fugitive taken into custody as a result of being written about in the newspaper's Crime & Punishment page, according to federal authorities.

"That's why we use The Examiner," said Matt Burke, supervisory inspector of the Capitol Area Region Fugitive Task Force. "Someone might be good at running and hiding, but they can't run and hide from everybody."

Bowers was wanted in the 1997 slaying of 21-year-old Carl Shawn Turner at a house party in Suffolk, Va.

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  • Although there were more than 50 people at the party, no one could -- or would -- come forward to identify the gunman, police said.

    Turner's killing went unsolved and became a cold case. But it 2009, prosecutors obtained an indictment for Bowers. But by that time, Bowers was no longer in the Hampton Roads region, authorities said.

    Marshals recently obtained information that Bowers could be in the D.C. area, and The Examiner profiled Bowers as its "Most Wanted" fugitive in Thursday's editions.

    At around 11 a.m., marshals received a call from tipster who said that the man who had been on the run for 14 years was living in the 1000 block of Mount Olivet Street near Trinidad.

    Gotcha!
    Among those taken into custody after they were featured on The Examiner's Crime & Punishment page over the past three years:
    » Ferose Kerry Khan. His 2010 capture helped federal investigators break up what prosecutors say is the largest federal government contracting bribery and kickback scandal in U.S. history.
    » Derrick Arthur. He led authorities on a massive manhunt in December 2005 after he escaped from police during a shoot-out and fled into the National Arboretum. Arthur was apprehended on Oct. 7, 2008.
    » Omar Weaver. The former All-America high school basketball player and D.C. street ball legend was wanted for armed carjacking, and surrendered in March 2011.
    » Kendrick Phillips. Accused of killing 16-year-old and stuffing body in a closet, he was arrested on May 22, 2011.

    The caller gave very clear and specific details, and the information fit with what the marshals already knew.

    Members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force and D.C. police mobilized, and within 15 minutes of the call Bowers was in handcuffs, authorities said.

    Since 2008, three dozen fugitives -- including convicted murderers, kidnappers, child sex offenders, rapists and scam artists -- have been captured or turned themselves in as a direct result of being featured as one of The Examiner's "Most Wanted."

    Bowers is the fourth captured fugitive who has been convicted or wanted for a homicide.

    Like Bowers, fugitives often are arrested the morning their story and mug shot appears in The Examiner.

    That's what happened in the case of convicted sex offender Andre Stevenson. Commuters at a Southeast Washington bus stop were reading about Stevenson when they spotted him standing by a day care center. The citizens surrounded Stevenson until police arrived.

    Another fugitive was arrested after a reader showed a uniformed D.C. police officer the newspaper article and photo, pointed at the suspect and said, "There's your man, right there."

    smccabe@washingtonexaminer.com

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