Court records reveal new details from July 4 Metro stabbing

WASHINGTON — A D.C. man was punched repeatedly and stabbed as many 20 times before his killer kicked his bloody body as he lay dying on the floor of a Metro train, court documents released Tuesday say.

Jasper Spires, 18, of D.C., appeared in court Tuesday afternoon to face a first-degree murder charge for the death of 24-year-old Kevin J. Sutherland. Police say that Spires killed Sutherland while trying to rob him Saturday afternoon and then robbed two more people before fleeing.

Spires was ordered held without bond and his next court date was set for July 17.

“They say he’s guilty right now but we’ll find out later on, that’s all I can say,” says family friend Sean Stewart who is a friend of Spires’ cousins.

According to court documents, Sutherland’s stabbing injuries included a deep wound to the heart. Another stab wound fractured a rib and punctured his lung. He was also stabbed in the back, sides and arms.

Sutherland had another 10 to 20 cuts on his body including defensive wounds to his arms and hands plus multiple bruises on his face, an autopsy found.

Multiple riders witnessed Spires attack Sutherland and then rob two other passengers on the train. In interviews with police, the witnesses say that Spires punched Sutherland after the two struggled over an unknown item. Sutherland fell to the train floor and Spires began to stab him with a knife.

A witness says Sutherland was bleeding. Another told police that Spires had blood on his arms and hands.

Spires threw Sutherland’s cellphone at the dying man and then walked away. But he returned and stomped on Sutherland’s body, according to one witness. Another passenger tells police that Spires kicked the dying man.

Witnesses say Spires robbed two other passengers before leaving the train at the NoMa-Gallaudet Station, where he was seen dropping a black bag.

Inside the bag, police say they found a bloody cloth and an insurance card with Spires’ name on it. Police also found the knife they believe Spires used in the attack in a trash can at the station.

Spires had been arrested just two days earlier in Friendship Heights on charges of robbery and assaulting a police officer.

The D.C. police officer who arrested Spires Thursday in Friendship Heights identified a man seen in surveillance footage leaving the NoMa-Gallaudet crime scene as Spires.

The same officer also had previous encounters with Spires and told detectives that he thought Spires acted as if he was under the influence of some sort of drug and would talk to himself.

The Washington Post reports that D.C. detectives are investigating whether Spires was high on synthetic drugs at the time of the murder, but Stewart says he hasn’t known Spires to use drugs.

“Far as I could see he was all right (one month ago,)” Stewart says.

Spires also has two pending charges filed against him in Maryland for trespassing and not paying a Metro fare.

An American University graduate, Sutherland was a digital political strategist and was once a congressional intern.

His employer New Blue Interactive posted a statement on its Facebook page that included a staff photo with Sutherland and the motto of his home state of Connecticut.

“He was one of the brightest political digital strategists in the country and Kevin always had a smile. His murder was a tragedy and senseless. It robbed all of us of his amazing talents and future,” the post reads.

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Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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