Two men among many got on a train heading for festivities in downtown D.C. on the Fourth of July, but only one of them got off alive. A police affidavit released Tuesday shows the gruesome details of a robbery attempt gone wrong.
Shortly after 12:30 p.m. on July 4, Kevin Sutherland entered a train station on his way to meet some friends in the city. Shortly after, another man, Jasper Spires, entered the station, and the two waited for the train to arrive.
When the train pulled into the station, the two men joined the other Fourth of July revelers in one of the cars.
That’s when tragedy struck.
Spires attempted to grab a cellphone from Sutherland’s waistband and the two began to tussle, according to witness testimony in the affidavit. Spires then began punching Sutherland in the face until he fell to the ground, where the assault continued.
Once on the ground, witnesses said Sutherland cried for help before Spires pulled out a knife and stabbed him between 30 and 40 times in the chest, abdomen, back, side and arms, until he was dead.
At that point, Spires reportedly grabbed the cellphone, which had fallen on to the floor, and smashed it on Sutherland’s lifeless body before repeatedly kicking him in the head.
When he was done, Spires turned his attention to the rest of the passengers on the crowded train car. He stormed toward one witness and demanded they hand over their money.
“What do y’all got?,” Spires asked the train passenger.
The passenger, who was not named in the affidavit, handed over around $65 and another female victim gave Spires an unknown sum of money.
This all happened in the three minutes it took for the train to travel from the Rhode Island Avenue station to the NoMa-Galludet University station. Once the train arrived, Spires sprinted off the train, down an escalator and hopped over a turnstile before disappearing into the crowd of tourists in the city to celebrate the holiday.
Before leaving the train station, though, Spires reportedly dropped a bookbag containing a brown washcloth that contained what is believed to be Sutherland’s blood and a health insurance card with the name Jasper Spires on it, and threw a knife into a nearby trashcan.
Police arrested Spires and charged him with murder, following a citywide manhunt Monday morning.
The affidavit shows that police arrested Spires on July 2 for an unrelated robbery, and he was released on his own recognizance the following day, less than 24 hours before he allegedly murdered Sutherland.
Read all the details here:
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