Four charged with murder of Dale City teen

Four men Prince William County police believe are involved in killing an 18-year-old Dale City man last month are behind bars.

Charles Stephson Zimmerman, 18, of 16739 Sweeny Lane in Lake Ridge; Colante Devon Mason, 19, of 2000 Sequoia Court in Woodbridge; and Nana Djobeng “Chief” Yaw, 19, and Vincent Antonio White Jr., both of 2939 Madeira Court in Lake Ridge, shot 18-year-old Matthew Allan Ruane twice in the head April 29, police said Monday. Ruane died in front of his home in the 14500 block of Bakersville Street.

Police charged the men, some of whom were already in jail and all of whom had previously faced criminal charges, with murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony early Sunday morning, said Sgt. Kim Chinn, a police spokeswoman. They are being held in the Prince William-Manassas regional jail without bond.

While police at one point indicated the killing may have been drug-related, police listed robbery as the motive in a press release Monday.

County police also initially said that Ruane likely did not know any of the men responsible for his death.

That also may have changed.

“It is unclear at this time whether or not they knew him,” Chinn said.

The gun used in the murder — a small caliber handgun — has not been found, she said.

“It’s always concerning [when a murder weapon is not found],” said Police Chief Charlie T. Deane. “But the investigation is still under way. It’s been an intense investigation. [Detectives] have been working around the clock since it happened.”

Ruane died around 11:20 p.m. on April 29, when three men, described as black, in their late teens or early 20s, wearing dark clothing, approached him and two friends, according to past police statements.

One of the men demanded Ruane’s “stuff,” and then shot him. Police did not specify which of the men they believe pulled the trigger.

“We’re happy that they are off the streets,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul B. Ebert. “Their actions indicated that they are dangerous people.”

White was due in court on a gun-related charge before the murder, according to court records.

Police charged him with two counts of brandishing a firearm from an incident that occurred on March 17; both his arraignment and bond hearings were scheduled for earlier this month, but had been continued.

Zimmerman was scheduled to appear in court today for charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and credit card fraud. He had been arrested on May 10 on those offenses, then charged with murder two days later.

Yaw and Mason have both pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana in the past, court records show.

Members of the Ruane family could not be reached for comment Monday.

Police ask that anyone with information on the murder weapon call Crime Solvers at (703) 670-3700. Callers do not have to give their names or testify in court and may receive a reward of up to $1,000 for information that results in an arrest.

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