Man sentenced in botched robbery that left handyman dead

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Local,Crime,Scott McCabe

A Suitland man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for his role in a botched home robbery of the owner of a check-cashing business that resulted in the death of the family's handyman.

Tasheik Ashanti Champean, 46, pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery and use of a firearm during a crime of violence causing death. Days after Champean pleaded guilty, law enforcement officials arrested an accused accomplice, Metrobus driver Stacy Lorenzo Reed, as the driver finished his route at a Pentagon City bus stop.

According to charging documents filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria:

Champean conspired with Reed and Reynard Lazaro Prather, 22, to rob the owner of a check-cashing business. The plan was to rob the businessman at his Centreville home, where the conspirators believed the target kept the store's earnings.

On May 17, 2010, Reed picked up Champean and Prather and dropped them off at the target's mansion on the 14200 block of Compton Road.

Champean and Prather -- both armed with semi-automatic pistols -- entered the home through an open garage door to wait for the owner to return, but the intruders were spotted by the owner's son and a handyman, Jose Cardona.

The four men immediately engaged in a struggle over the intruders' two firearms.During the struggle, the 39-year-old Cardona was fatally shot in the head.

At the time of the killing, Champean was wanted in D.C. for failure to appear on charges that he transported multiple guns and ammunition from New York to the District. He was featured as a "Most Wanted" fugitive in The Washington Examiner in April 2010, when he had been on the lam for more than a year after missing a court hearing in D.C. on the firearms charges.

Prather, 22, pleaded guilty earlier last year to conspiracy affecting commerce by robbery and using a firearm in a conspiracy that caused a death. In June 2012, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Reed remains behind bars awaiting trial.

smccabe@washingtonexaminer.com

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