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Metrobus driver arrested en route in Centreville mansion slaying

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Local,Crime,Scott McCabe

A Metrobus driver was arrested in connection with a federal investigation into the killing of a heroic handyman during a botched home invasion.

Stacy Lorenzo Reed, 43, was charged with being involved in a gun robbery of the owner of a check-cashing business that resulted in the death of an employee.

According to charging documents filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, in May 2010, two gunmen entered the Centreville mansion of the owner of the check-cashing business. The men were confronted by the son of the owner and Jose Cardona, the family's handyman.

A struggle between all four men ensued, and one of the men shot the 39-year-old Cardona in the head. The bullet lodged in Cardona's brain, killing him.

The failed robbers fled and drove off in a white pickup truck.

One of the men, Reynard Prather, 22, pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiracy affecting commerce by robbery, and using a firearm in a conspiracy that caused a death. He was sentenced to 30 years.

The other man, Tasheik Champean, 45, pleaded guilty last week to the conspiracy.

Reed is accused of driving Prather and Champean to the home of the check-cashing business owner, and letting the gunmen use his vehicle in the getaway, document say.

On Wednesday morning, Reed was arrested by U.S. marshals after driving a bus on the 9E Pentagon-Huntington line up to a stop at the Pentagon, authorities said.

A law enforcement source said the arrest happened quietly without incident.

A second bus operator was dispatched to take over Reed's route, according to Metro, but it was not clear what kinds of delays riders using that bus faced.

Reed has been a Metro employee since Aug. 19, said spokeswoman Caroline Lukas. Reed was placed on paid leave, pending the outcome of the criminal case.

Metro operators have been caught up in crime investigations before, often in connection to their work. A few examples: One driver got off a bus and punched a cop dressed as McGruff the Crime Dog, a driver was convicted of manslaughter in a deadly Metrobus crash, an operator solicited an undercover cop for prostitution, and MetroAccess drivers were charged with sexually assaulting disabled riders.

One Metrobus driver was killed by an off-duty police officer in 2009 during a botched robbery attempt.

smccabe@washingtonexaminer.com

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