Md. man charged with leaving unsecured gun within reach of 4-year-old girl was on home release for boxer’s killing

The 20-year-old Cheverly, Maryland, man arrested Monday on gun charges after a 4-year-old relative found a weapon and accidentally shot herself, was on home confinement and due to stand trial in D.C. for the 2023 death of boxer Anwar “The Silent Assassin” Wingate.

Jayvon Thomas has been ordered held without bond following a hearing Tuesday afternoon in Prince George’s County District Court on the gun counts.

“This is not someone we believe can be in our community safely,” Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy said in a statement. “it would have been the right decision to be held in the District of Columbia.”

As first reported by WTOP’s partner 7News, Thomas was on home confinement and electronic monitoring when the 4-year-old girl found a “ghost gun” with no serial number under a bed while playing hide and seek, and accidentally shot and wounded herself.

Thomas and 19-year-old Lavar Hunter were each arraigned in January in D.C. Superior Court on one count of first-degree murder while armed in Wingate’s death during a November 2023 armed robbery.

On April 8, at the request of his lawyer, Thomas was released to home confinement and electronic monitoring by a judge.

In a Tuesday morning news briefing, Prince George’s County police Chief Malik Aziz said police were now aware of Thomas’s previous arrest and release before trial.

”A 4-year-old was injured and it could have been much worse,” said Aziz. “We could be planning a funeral for a 4-year-old right now due to the recklessness and carelessness of an individual who obviously has no regard for such a deadly weapon, even when young children are around.”

Aziz was asked whether a man charged with first-degree murder in another jurisdiction should be behind bars before trial. He said that was a valid question.

“I’ll let the other arm of the criminal justice system take care of those things,” said the police chief. “These need to be answered, no matter what state or jurisdiction they’re in.”

According to D.C. court records, Thomas is due in court Friday for a status hearing. D.C. prosecutors filed a notice of noncompliance in his pretrial release conditions Monday, after Thomas’ arrest in Maryland.

Aziz didn’t rule out charges could be upgraded in Maryland, as the investigation continues.

”We mete out justice and investigation with the facts,” said Aziz. “If other information comes to light, then we will make the adjustment and add additional charges to that individual.”

Asked for an update on the 4-year-old girl’s injuries, Aziz said while they were not life-threatening, “it’s traumatic — that child will need some tender, loving care.”

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Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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