A 16-year-old from Northern Virginia has been arrested and charged as an adult in the shooting death of a D.C. man in October, according to police.
Ashton Inabinet, 16, of Alexandria, Virginia, was arrested by Fairfax County police Tuesday under an arrest warrant from the D.C. Superior Court. A search warrant had also been authorized by a Fairfax County judge, according to court documents filed in the criminal division of the Superior Court for the District of Columbia.
Inabinet is charged with second-degree murder while armed in the death of Diamonte Lewis, 24, of Southeast D.C., according to court documents.
Inabinet has entered a plea of not guilty in the case. He is being held without bond pending a preliminary hearing on Dec. 13.
According to the arrest warrant, D.C. police responded to reports of a shooting at 9th and U streets outside of Nellie’s Sports Bar in the early morning hours of Oct. 21. When they arrived, police found Lewis unresponsive and “suffering from apparent gunshot wounds,” the documents said. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
An autopsy found Lewis was shot six times.
Police said they found five 9-mm spent cartridge casings and a black ski mask at the scene of the shooting and have reviewed surveillance footage from the scene that shows the shooting.
Inabinet was arrested by a Fairfax County SWAT team at his parents’ house in the 2200 block of Traies Court in Alexandria on Tuesday, according to the documents.
When the SWAT team arrived, they found Inabinet in the bathroom of the home’s basement. Court documents also said Inabinet had “visibly altered his physical appearance by cutting his hair into a short crew cut style, according to the documents, which noted that in the videos from the shooting of Lewis, Inabinet has “long red/blonde hair.”
The court documents indicate that five 9-mm semi-automatic pistols matching the gun used to kill Lewis were found in a safe in the home with Inabinet. Police also found 10 additional firearms. All of the guns were found in what was “believed to be the parent’s bedroom.”
Police said that they did not find a 9-mm cartridge of the same brand of the ammunition that was found at the scene, according to the documents.
Court documents: Teen ‘essentially tipped off’ by school before arrest
In the documents, a D.C. police detective says that before his arrest, Inabinet was “essentially tipped off” by school officials and Fairfax County police when he was banned from returning to school, “without coordinating with D.C. homicide that he was under investigation in D.C.”
The court documents say that West Potomac High School, where Inabinet is a student, ordered Fairfax County police to go to Inabinet’s house Nov. 28 to tell him he was “not allowed to return to school in reference to a D.C. investigation.”
Because of this warning, the detective said that Inabinet had “approximately a week to remove evidence from the residence, such as clothing” or guns and ammunition related to the scene of the killing.
Fairfax County police said in a statement to WTOP that D.C. police detectives visited the Fairfax County high school on Nov. 28 and told a school resources officer they intended to eventually pursue criminal charges against a Fairfax County high school student for a recent firearm murder in D.C.
“MPD detectives had not yet obtained criminal charges. We delivered a letter authored by Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid banning the student, a murder suspect, from school until we received further information. This is a preventive action we own and stand by. The Fairfax County Police Department has a duty and responsibility to protect our students,” Fairfax County police said in the statement.
Fairfax County Public Schools said in a statement to WTOP that, “the safety of our schools remains our top priority and we will always act swiftly to protect our students and staff. We continue to work collaboratively with Fairfax County Police, who are partners in this work,” and that they agree with the statement from Fairfax County police.