- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Police have charged a neighborhood teen with committing the double-shooting homicide last month that left a Hampshire woman dead and her husband critically injured. The arrest followed the teen being charged with the murder of a Washington, D.C., taxi driver last week.
Joshua Terrell Mebane, 17, has been charged with first-degree and attempted murder for shooting Teresa Ann Bass and husband Jerry Bass Jr. as the couple walked their dog on the evening of Oct. 26 along a path linking the Waldorf neighborhood and Westlake High School’s baseball field.
“I think the question on everyone’s mind is why?” said Charles County Sheriff Rex Coffey (D) during a press conference Tuesday afternoon at the sheriff’s office headquarters in La Plata. “What kind of person would do such a thing? There are so many questions, yet very few answers that I can provide at this point in the investigation. So let me say this to our community: You know me, you know our agency and our officers as well as our state’s attorney’s office. We are all committed to safety. Just know this: We are confident we have our guy, and he’s in custody.”
Police released little information on Mebane except to say he is currently not enrolled in school.
Officers working security at the Westlake-Great Mills football game that night heard several gunshots and were on the scene within a minute.
Teresa Bass was taken by ambulance to Civista Medical Center in La Plata, where she died. Jerry Bass Jr. was flown to an area hospital, where he was at one point listed in critical condition with multiple gunshot wounds to his back, Jerry Bass Sr. said at a meeting police held last week in the Hampshire community.
The Charles County Sheriff’s Office received an “indication” Friday from the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department that Mebane might have been the Hampshire shooter, spokeswoman Diane Richardson said.
The tip came the same day Mebane was arrested for the murder of a District taxi driver who was shot in the head and later found in his burning cab Nov. 7.
Information released at the press conference indicates that Baltimore County police got an initial tip on the cab driver’s killing and alerted District police. District officers arrested Mebane, and called Charles County officers afterward with information that Mebane also might be the Hampshire shooter.
As officers first arrived on the cab driver’s murder scene in Northeast Washington that night, the Hampshire neighborhood association was wrapping up the community forum in which county law enforcement updated residents on the investigation into the Bass shooting.
After receiving the tip, Charles County detectives went to the District and launched a joint investigation with police there.
Investigators executed search warrants on Mebane’s home in Hampshire and found a gun that the Prince George’s County Police Department’s forensic science unit linked to evidence recovered at the scene of the Bass shooting, Richardson said. Police have since found other evidence linking Mebane to the shooting, she added.
Charles County commissioners’ President Candice Quinn Kelly (D) had high praise for Coffey at the press conference.
“This is another indication of Sheriff Coffey’s leadership in police work in Charles County,” she said.
Detectives are still working to establish a motive for the Bass shooting, Richardson said.