Suspect in Gaithersburg hatchet death indicted on murder charge -- Gazette.Net



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Claude Allen III, who police believe killed an acquaintance with a hatchet last month, was formally indicted on a charge of first-degree murder by a grand jury on Thursday. A trial date has not yet been set.

Montgomery County Police arrested Allen, 20, on May 24. Court records from his arrest showed that Allen called police and told them he had killed someone who had broken into his family’s home.

Allen is the son of Claude Allen II, a former high-level domestic policy adviser to President George W. Bush who was arrested and charged in 2006 with making $5,000 of phony refunds to Target and Hecht stores.

Police discovered the garage of the Laytonsville house “covered” in blood, and found the body of Michael Phillip Harvey, 25, in the woods outside the home, according to the charging documents.

After his arrest, Allen told investigators that Harvey attacked him with the hatchet, and that he managed to wrestle it from Harvey and use it against him, his charging documents said. But police ultimately learned that the two had been arguing over drug sales, according to charging documents.

Steven Kupferberg, Allen’s attorney, declined to comment on the specifics of the indictment.

Kupferberg said Allen would be pleading not guilty, pending discovery.

“It’s hard for someone who is 20, never been in trouble to this extent, to acclimate to being in jail ... but he’s doing fairly well,” Kupferberg said.

sjbsmith@gazette.net