Osha Chester Collier, 22, of 3008 Manning St. in Alexandria is accused of killing Matthew Ruane, 18, of Bakersfield Street on a breezy, cold spring night last year.
Due to the blustery wind, Ruane and two friends were standing between two parked vans in front of his townhouse. They were smoking marijuana when three men walked up to him and fired two shots into his head after saying: “Mother f—–, give us the s—.”
Ruane#&039;s body fell near a tree in front of his home, where his mother Beverly now lays flowers in his memory including one red rose every Monday night since the murder.
It is unclear at this point who fired the shots. The weapon used in the murder was never found. Police said in earlier reports that it is a small caliber handgun, although no specifics were available Wednesday.
Police contend in the criminal complaint against Collier, that he “rifled through [Ruane#&039;s] pockets” after Ruane was felled.
Vincent Antonio White Jr., 21, of 2939 Madeira Court in Lake Ridge is also charged with murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
The charges against Collier do not in any way negate those against White, whose trial is slated to and “probably” will begin on Monday, according to Assistant Commonwealth#&039;s Attorney Kristina Morgan-Robinson.
Collier and three friends allegedly made plans in Alexandria to rob Ruane, according to the criminal complaint. The complaint does not state what they planned to rob him of, but 1st Sgt. Kim Chinn, Prince William police spokeswoman, said that the men were looking for drugs. She would not comment on whether police believe Collier found drugs after allegedly searching Ruane#&039;s pockets.
Chinn would not say specifically what led police to believe that Collier was involved in the murder. Multiple witnesses were involved in developing the information, according to Morgan-Robinson. The criminal complaint says only that information was obtained “from a witness.”
An informant told Prince William detectives that a man referred to as “T-Bone” bragged about killing Ruane, White#&039;s attorney Robert Horan said at a November hearing to convince a judge he needed a court-appointed private investigator. That motion was denied. It was not clear on Wednesday whether Collier has any nicknames.
Collier was arrested in a Harlem apartment in early March on outstanding warrants for allegedly shooting into an occupied home on Knoll Ridge Court in Woodbridge on Christmas morning. He was tracked to the apartment by deputy U.S. Marshals working with the Prince William County and New York City police departments.
U.S. Marshals tracked a female friend of Collier#&039;s who formerly lived in Washington, D.C., according to Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Kevin Connelly of the Eastern District of Virginia. Finding that woman was instrumental in locating Collier in New York, Connelly said March 6.
In searching the Harlem apartment, deputies found a picture of Collier wearing sunglasses and holding two pistols like a cowboy would, Connelly said.
Marshals said in March that Collier is “no stranger” to the drug trade.
He is the fifth person to be charged in connection with the murder. Charges were dropped against Nana “Chief” Yaw, 19, of Lake Ridge; Charles Zimmerman, 19, of Lake Ridge; and Devon Colonte Mason, 19.
Prosecutors and police believe some of the people responsible for the murder are still free, Morgan-Robinson said.
Beverly Ruane said Tuesday that she felt “confused, surprised, nervous, excited and relieved,” about Collier#&039;s arrest. She wants the “right people” to be punished.
“I just want justice to be done for my son,” she said. “So many people have been hurt by this one senseless, thoughtless act.”
Staff writer Daniel Drew can be reached at (703) 878-8065.