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               From Wasington Post and AP

                  Compiled from reports by staff writers Vanessa Williams and Philip P. Pan and the
                  Associated Press.
                  Thursday, August 13, 1998; Page B03

                  QUOTE OF THE DAY

                  "I'm very thankful for the wonderful job the police and the prosecutor did. It
                  was a Christian verdict, but I'm still a loser. I lost my daughter."

                  -- Eligio Enriquez, whose daughter was shot to death by a bicyclist whom
                  she had accidentally bumped with her car, commenting on the first-degree
                  murder verdict returned against his daughter's assailant.

                               © Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

Bicyclist Found Guilty of Murder For Killing
                  Driver Who Bumped Him
                  Prince George's Jury Takes 90 Minutes to Reach a Verdict

                  By Ruben Castaneda
                  Washington Post Staff Writer
                  Thursday, August 13, 1998; Page B07

                  A Prince George's County Circuit Court jury deliberated just 90 minutes
                  yesterday before finding a Silver Spring man guilty of gunning down a young
                  female motorist who accidentally bumped him off his bicycle at a busy
                  Adelphi intersection last fall.

                  Alejandro Jose Grant, 27, was found guilty of first-degree murder and using
                  a handgun while committing a felony. After he was bumped off his bike Oct.
                  8, Grant got up, pulled a pistol from his backpack, walked over to the waiting
                  motorist, Joy Estrella Mariano Enriquez, 19, and shot her once point-blank in
                  the head, according to testimony at Grant's two-day trial.

                  Grant showed no emotion as the verdict was read, but more than two dozen
                  relatives and friends of the victim wept softly and embraced.

                  The victim's father, Eligio Enriquez, clutched a small picture of Jesus Christ
                  on the cross as he listened to the jury forewoman declare Grant guilty. Tears
                  welled up in his eyes as he turned and clutched hands with his wife, Paulita,
                  the victim's mother.

                  As Grant was led away in handcuffs by sheriff's deputies, Paulita Enriquez
                  hugged Prince George's County homicide Detective Vincent Canales, while
                  Eligio Enriquez embraced Assistant State's Attorney Fran Longwell, who
                  prosecuted the case.

                  "I'm very thankful for the wonderful job the police and the prosecutor did,"
                  Eligio Enriquez, 49, told reporters. "It was a Christian verdict, but I'm still a
                  loser. I lost my daughter."

                  Circuit Court Judge Sheila R. Tillerson-Adams scheduled sentencing for
                  Sept. 14. Grant could be sentenced to life in prison without parole, plus 20
                  years for the handgun violation, prosecutors said.

                  On Tuesday, several witnesses testified that they saw Grant shoot Enriquez
                  before he tried to ride away on his bike, which he stashed in a trash bin
                  before trying to run away. Grant was caught within minutes by Prince
                  George's County police, who were summoned by 911 calls made by
                  motorists using their cell phones, according to testimony.

                  During her closing argument yesterday, Longwell said Grant "killed
                  [Enriquez] in cold blood. He executed that young woman."

                  Grant did not take the stand in his own defense. His attorney, Assistant
                  Public Defender Clayton Aarons, told jurors in his closing argument that
                  Grant shot Enriquez.

                  "We're not asking you to let him off the hook," Aarons said. "This is not an
                  individual standing over someone, execution-style, emptying a [gun] into

                  After closing arguments, Grant told the judge that he wanted to fire Aarons
                  and represent himself. Tillerson-Adams refused Grant's request because the
                  jury already had begun deliberating. Grant rescinded his request just before
                  the verdict was read.

                  During her opening argument, Longwell said the .22-caliber gun used to kill
                  Enriquez was recovered from a backpack that Grant tossed into a trash bin
                  as he tried to run away. But she told the jurors that the gun that was
                  recovered had been destroyed accidentally by Prince George's police.

                  Royce Holloway, a county police spokesman, said the gun was properly
                  tagged as evidence in the police property division but was inadvertently
                  placed in a box of weapons scheduled to be destroyed.

                  "It was an isolated incident, and it was unfortunate," Holloway said.
                  "Fortunately, it occurred in this case," in which police and prosecutors had
                  numerous eyewitnesses and a suspect caught minutes after the attack.

                  He said the department is reviewing its property division procedures.

                            © Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

Murder Trial Witnesses Recall Attack on
                  Bicyclist Shot Woman Who Bumped Him

                  By Ruben Castaneda
                  Washington Post Staff Writer
                  Wednesday, August 12, 1998; Page B07

                  Seconds after a motorist accidentally bumped him off his bicycle at a busy
                  Adelphi intersection last fall, Alejandro Jose Grant calmly got up, pulled a
                  small pistol from a backpack, walked over to the waiting driver and shot her
                  in the head.

                  Several witnesses during the first day of Grant's trial yesterday on
                  first-degree murder charges gave similarly chilling accounts of what they
                  saw Oct. 8 when Joy Estrella Mariano Enriquez, a 19-year-old college
                  student, was killed.

                  "He just shot her in the head. It was devastating. I couldn't believe it,"
                  testified Chinola Jenkins, who was riding in a car at the intersection of
                  University Boulevard and Riggs Road shortly after 4 p.m., when the shooting

                  "She fell back. Her car just rolled into a pole," Jenkins testified.

                  Another witness, John T. Fowler, testified that Enriquez had stopped her car
                  and was calling out to Grant, asking whether he was all right.

                  Wearing headphones, Grant sauntered over to Enriquez, screaming, "You
                  don't know me!" He reached into her car and "shot her just like she was a
                  cockroach. Then he turned and walked away," Fowler testified.

                  Grant, 27, of Silver Spring, faces life in prison without parole if convicted of
                  the first-degree murder charge. At the time of the shooting, Grant was free
                  on assault charges in the District and Montgomery County despite having
                  failed three court-ordered drug tests.

                  In his opening statement yesterday, Grant's attorney, Clayton Aarons, a
                  deputy public defender, told jurors in Prince George's County Circuit Court
                  that the key to the case would be whether the slaying was planned.

                  "We're not standing here before you saying he didn't do it," Aarons said. For
                  jurors to convict Grant of first-degree murder, Aarons told them, "the state
                  must prove . . . that he planned this, that he had the intent [to shoot her]
                  when he walked to her car."

                  Assistant State's Attorney Fran Longwell told the jury in her opening
                  statement that numerous witnesses and physical evidence tie Grant to the

                  "There's no mistake that this is the man who did it," Longwell said.

                  Witnesses yesterday gave a detailed account of what happened immediately
                  after the shooting. According to testimony, Grant tried to ride his bicycle
                  away but was followed by at least two motorists. Using cell phones, some
                  witnesses called the police moments after the shooting, according to

                  They also described seeing Grant toss his bicycle into a trash bin and then
                  run away.

                  Two Prince George's County police officers who responded to investigate
                  the incident and who chased down Grant on foot testified that they saw him
                  toss a black backpack into a circular trash bin.

                  Other officers testified that a shiny, silver-colored, brown-handled handgun
                  was recovered from the backpack. They said the gun matched the
                  description given by witnesses.

                  Prince George's County Police Cpl. Charles Hamby, one of the officers who
                  caught Grant, testified that several witnesses identified him as the gunman
                  within 10 minutes of the attack.

                  Longwell told jurors that a firearms examination showed that the gun
                  recovered from the backpack was the weapon used to kill Enriquez. But, she
                  said, the gun found that day was destroyed accidentally by Prince George's

                  Enriquez, of Wheaton, was a physical therapy student at Montgomery
                  College and was on her way to class when she was killed.

                  Yesterday, nearly three dozen relatives, friends and members of the local
                  Philippine community (Enriquez was of Philippine descent) sat in the
                  courtroom to watch the trial and comfort each other.

                  The day after the shooting, Prince George's County Police Chief John S.
                  Farrell said Grant told detectives he shot Enriquez because "he felt she
                  endangered him and he wanted her to know how it felt."

                  Before he was bumped off his bicycle by Enriquez, Aarons told the jury,
                  Grant had been knocked off his bike by a motorist previously that day.

bizarre ending...............

                            Man Who Killed Driver Hangs Himself in Jail
Bicyclist Had Requested Death Penalty By Brian Mooar Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, September 17, 1998; Page B05 Alejandro Jose Grant, who asked for the death penalty but was sentenced Monday to life imprisonment for shooting a woman to death after her car accidentally bumped his bicycle, hanged himself yesterday in his cell at the Prince George's County jail. Grant, 27, housed in the same maximum-security unit where he had lived since May, slipped a torn piece of bedsheet around his neck as officers were making their afternoon shift change and was found unconscious just after 3 p.m., officials said. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His death came 48 hours after an emotionally charged hearing in which he urged a judge to impose the death sentence against him for gunning down Joy Estrella Mariano Enriquez, saying he didn't "really feel like living." Before the hearing, prosecutors said, Grant slugged a sheriff's deputy and bragged about killing Enriquez within earshot of the deputies guarding him. Judge Sheila R. Tillerson-Adams sentenced Grant to life in prison without parole for murder and to an additional 20 years for using a handgun while committing a felony. Despite Grant's plea for a death sentence, corrections officials were not instructed after Monday's court session to place him on a suicide watch, said Vicki Duncan, spokeswoman for the Prince George's County Department of Corrections. Officers check on maximum-security prisoners about every half-hour; inmates on suicide watch are checked every 15 minutes, Duncan said. "The new shift had just come on, and they were making their regular rounds when they found him," Duncan said. "Maybe 20 minutes to a half-hour before that, they made rounds, and the officer who was leaving him found him fine. The new officer who came on found him hanged." Duncan said that both officers who had checked on Grant were veterans and that they apparently had been following department policy. She said Grant's method of hanging himself took guards by surprise. "He took a piece of torn sheeting, and he threaded it through the metal holes that the [upper bunk bed's] mattress lays on, and he was able to make a noose this way," Duncan said. "He had one end wrapped around the mattress. . . . The officer said it was very ingenious, something she had never seen before. They have stopped a number of suicides before over the years." Enriquez, a 19-year-old physical therapy student, was driving to Montgomery College on Oct. 8 when she accidentally bumped Grant and knocked him off his bicycle at University Boulevard and Riggs Road in Adelphi. Enriquez pulled her blue Honda Accord over to make sure the bicyclist was all right, but to the horror of rush-hour motorists and pedestrians, he reached into his backpack and pulled out a small handgun. "You don't know me!" Grant screamed as he put the .22-caliber gun to her head and fired. Witnesses said he then calmly remounted his bike and rode off, but he was tracked down quickly by police with the help of witnesses who had followed him. Grant later told detectives he shot Enriquez because he thought she had endangered him and he wanted her to know how it felt, police said. Prince George's State's Attorney Jack Johnson called Grant's suicide a "sad situation" and expressed sympathy last night for the man's family. Although Johnson said it was "clear [Grant] understood right and wrong and met the legal definition of sanity," he added that his office wrestled with the decision on whether to pursue a life sentence without parole because Grant "had deep troubles, emotional problems." Grant's attorney, Assistant Public Defender Clayton Aarons, described his client last night as a young man who never managed to put down roots and was unable to cap an explosive well of anger. Aarons said Grant appeared to be sorry but was unable to explain why he had killed the young woman. Aarons said it never crossed his mind, even after Grant's plea for the death penalty, that his client would take his own life. "In his own warped way of thinking, this may have been his way of really showing the judge and everyone that he was indeed remorseful," Aarons said. Eligio Enriquez, father of the slain woman, said last night that he took no joy from Grant's death. "It makes me a little bit sad," he said. "It didn't give me relief. Two lives have been taken away. I lost a daughter, and his parents lost a son. This should not be happening." Staff writers Ruben Castaneda and Philip P. Pan contributed to this report. (c) Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company © Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company