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Accused hatchet man enlisted help to dispose of body

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Local,Maryland,Crime,Scott McCabe

A Gaithersburg man accused of killing a friend with a hatchet enlisted another friend to help hide the body, according to charging documents.

Claude A. Allen III, the son of a former top White House aide, provided authorities with several versions of what happened before admitting that he killed 25-year-old Michael P. Harvey over the earnings from a drug sale, the documents said.

Harvey's body was found Friday in a wooded area behind Allen's house in the 7200 block of Cliff Pine Drive in Gaithersburg.

Allen, 20, was charged with first-degree murder, and on Tuesday was ordered held without bond in the Montgomery County jail.

According to charging documents made public Tuesday, Allen called 911 and said that he killed a man who tried to break into his residence.

Police found the garage floor covered in blood, and followed a trail of footprints to a body in the woods.

A person who was at the house at the time of the incident, identified as Witness 1, told police that he was in the kitchen when Allen entered the home from the garage.

Allen told the friend he just "got the person" who was robbing his residence and showed him the body.

Harvey had a cutting wound to the back of the neck.

Allen then asked him to help get rid of the body, the friend told police. The friend said he was afraid for his safety and helped Allen place Harvey's body into a trash can.

When Allen went to the basement, the witness ran out of the home and fled. He then called 911.

Allen was taken to police headquarters, where he said Harvey attacked him with a hatchet and he wrestled the hatchet away and cut Harvey with it.

Police said Allen eventually confessed to having a disagreement with Harvey over the sale of drugs. He said he slashed Harvey several times with the hatchet.

Allen was living at the home with his parents. His father, Claude A. Allen II, a former domestic economic advisor to President George W. Bush, resigned in 2006 after being cited for theft at a department store. Allen was accused of purchasing more than $5,000 in items in Target and Hecht's stores in a refund scam.

He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of theft later that year and was sentenced to probation.

smccabe@washingtonexaminer.com

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