A man shot to death while holding his 2-year-old son in his arms declined protective services offered by prosecutors when he agreed to appear as a witness in a double homicide trial slated for February, authorities said.
Nicoh Mayhew, 25, who was gunned down in Seat Pleasant on Wednesday morning, was scheduled to appear in Prince George's County District Court on Feb. 19. He was expected to be a witness for the prosecution in the trial of his cousin, a co-defendant in a double homicide, according to Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks.
Despite his concerns for his safety, Mayhew declined relocation services offered by the State's Attorney's Office and instead chose to stay with his girlfriend, Alsobrooks said.
"We did offer relocation protection for him," Alsobrooks told reporters Thursday afternoon. "We unfortunately cannot require that our witnesses accept the protection that we offer."
Alsobrooks could not confirm that Mayhew's death was related to the testimony authorities expected him to give at his cousin's trial, but noted prosecutors can seek an additional 20-year prison sentence for criminals who intimidate witnesses.
The 2-year-old was wounded by a gunshot but was expected to survive, authorities said.
Police are searching for two males who fired several shots at Mayhew before driving off in a black four-door BMW sedan with tinted windows and Maryland tags. County police spokeswoman Julie Parker said it was clear Mayhew was targeted.
Mayhew's cousin, 21-year-old Brian Cuffie Mayhew, is one of two men changed in a double homicide that occurred in May 2011, a law enforcement source confirmed. He and Kenan Myers, 25, shot Anthony McKelvin, 28, and Sean Ellis, 24, after robbing them of money and marijuana in Capitol Heights on May 30, 2011, according to prosecutors.
Charging documents claim a cooperating witness, who a law enforcement source confirmed was Mayhew, was at the scene. Mayhew approached police to tell them what he saw at the scene, according to the source.
The witness heard gunshots, observed Brian Cuffie Mayhew and Myers exiting the vehicle and saw the two victims sitting in the vehicle suffering from gunshot wounds, according to court documents. Investigators found the victims doused in bleach and gasoline at the scene that, according to the indictment, was used in an attempt to burn the vehicle.
Brian was indicted on 20 charges, including two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of conspiracy to commit murder.
Alsobrooks said previous statements made by Nicoh Mayhew to authorities could still be used in a trial, but declined to comment on how his death could affect the case.
Mayhew's mother, Cynthia Dinkins-Mayhew, told WJLA that authorities didn't do enough to protect her son and that other witnesses should be on guard.
"They better watch their back," she said. "Doesn't look like the law is going to help them. They didn't help me son."