After Being Freed of Four Suspected Murder Charges, Takoma Park Police Detectives Instrumental in the Arrest of Raoul ‘Manny’ Hughes; Who Has Been Sentenced to 25 Years for Burglary – Weekly Crime Summary 4/11/14 – 4/24/14

A Detective in the Takoma Park Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division began assisting detectives in Montgomery County with a case involving Raoul “Manny” Hughes (Hughes), due to the spike of residential burglaries which were occurring within Takoma Park and the surrounding jurisdictions.  Hughes is believed to have also been involved in murders and attempted murders.

 

By luck, Hughes was involved in an unrelated traffic matter in Takoma Park, Maryland, resulting in a vehicle he owned being impounded.  Sometime after his vehicle was impounded, a warrant was issued by Montgomery County Police for Hughes charging him with burglary.  With the knowledge of the outstanding warrant, Takoma Park Detectives arranged a meeting with Hughes at the Takoma Park Police Station to discuss the aforementioned impounded vehicle.

 

Hughes arrived at the police station, where he was taken into custody for the burglary warrant.  The investigation continued with the search of the vehicle that Hughes drove to the station.  With the assistance of a Takoma Park K9 officer, the K9 alerted positively on the vehicle for the presence of Controlled Dangerous Substances.  In addition to the illegal narcotics that were found inside Hughes’ vehicle, there were also items of evidentiary value from a burglary that occurred in Montgomery County just a few hours earlier.  Hughes was eventually convicted and sentenced to 25 years for the burglary.

 

This is another great example of law enforcement agencies in the region working together for a common goal.

 

“Disguised as a telephone repairman, Raoul “Manny” Hughes walked up to an empty home on Thanksgiving afternoon in 2012.

 

He went around back, broke through a sliding glass door, raced upstairs, grabbed $6,155 worth of jewelry and was gone. But he made a critical mistake, cutting himself on the glass and leaving behind a bit of blood. His luck, police say, had run out.

 

Over the years, Maryland authorities had charged the 43-year old with killing four people and trying to kill two more. Hughes had largely shaken off the cases. Charges dropped. Trials won. Convictions overturned.

 

But DNA in that blood helped convince a Montgomery County jury that he was a burglar and, subsequently, a judge sentenced him to 25 years in prison.  “What goes around comes around,” Wesley Finklea, the uncle of two men Hughes was accused of gunning down in 1993. “He didn’t go away for the murders. Burglarizing homes — if that’s what it takes for him to die in prison, that’s great.”

 

Hughes’s twisted, extensive judicial history stretches primarily over Prince George’s County, and also over Montgomery and Howard Counties and the City of Baltimore.

 

To friends and family, Hughes is charismatic, smart and too often the target. “When you have been in trouble, you’re easy to pick out,” his mother told The Washington Post in 2005.

 

Hughes was born Nov. 1, 1970, in Detroit, grew up in Prince George’s County and over the years worked as a barber and lived in the Takoma Park area.

 

Shortly after his 20th birthday, he staged a particularly audacious caper. Riding in a stolen 1986 Toyota 4Runner, he and an accomplice crashed through the door of a gun shop in College Park at 6:08 am.  They grabbed 15 guns, including three assault-style rifles, valued at more than $10,000. But the duo left behind mud flaps and paint from the SUV, helping lead to Hughes’s arrest and a two-year sentence.

In 1993, according to allegations made by Prince George’s County police, he turned decidedly more violent.

 

On May 17, while riding with another man on Fairview Avenue in the Hyattsville area, he spotted a man named Donovan Boyle in another car — and the two started chasing Boyle’s car, which wrecked, prompting Boyle to jump out and run. Hughes caught up to him and shot him in the head, according to police accusations outlined in court papers.

 

On June 29, while police were seeking him on murder charges in Boyle’s death, Hughes was alleged to have been part of a small group that gunned down Raschon and Tyrone Finklea in the same area of Prince George’s County. A grand jury indicted Hughes on two counts of murder. He was tried, convicted and in 1995 given a long sentence: two terms of life in prison without the chance of parole.

 

Behind bars, Hughes kept filing appeals and petitions, notching a win in 1999 when Prince George’s Circuit Judge G.R. Hovey Johnson concluded that Hughes had received ineffective counsel and ordered a new trial. This time, with prosecutors unable to find some key pieces of evidence, a jury acquitted Hughes on all charges. He was again a free man.

 

“He never should have been let out of prison,” said Wesley Finklea, the uncle of the Finklea brothers. He helped raised Tyrone Finklea’s son, who was an infant when his father was killed.

 

As for what happened to the assertions that Hughes killed Boyle, that’s not clear from court records. The charging papers are included in the file for the Finklea murders, but there is no indication he was ever indicted or tried in the Boyle case.

 

Years later, in October 2003, according to Prince George’s County Police, Hughes and another man, Russell Walker, were inside an Adelphi area apartment when they began arguing over a drug debt. Police alleged that Hughes shot Walker in the chest and ran. Again he was tried on charges of first-degree murder, and again he was found not guilty.

 

“The evidence just wasn’t there for a conviction,” Hughes’s attorney in that case, Peter Fayne, said Friday.

 

In 2006, detectives in Baltimore found themselves speaking to a shooting victim named Christopher Whitfield, who said that Hughes had shot him — but also made it clear he would be saying no such thing in open court, recalled Gary Proctor, a Baltimore defense lawyer who represented Hughes in that case.

 

“I will not sing,” Whitfield wrote as he spoke with detectives, Proctor recalled.

 

Hughes was charged with attempted murder and placed in jail as prosecutors prepared for trial. But Whitfield got shot again, this time fatally.

 

“Once Mr. Whitfield died — Hughes had nothing to do with it — the prosecutors’ case went out the window,” Proctor said.

 

A jury agreed, acquitting Hughes on all counts.

 

“He was a very likable chap,” Proctor said of his client. “Very charismatic, very smart. He testified, and answered all of the prosecutors’ questions gracefully.”

 

Apart from any alleged acts of violence, a different activity in Hughes’s life — breaking into homes — was holding up in court. By 2007, several break-ins caught up with him in Prince George’s County, and he was sentenced to five years in prison, according to court records.

 

By Thanksgiving 2012, Hughes had been released on probation. In Takoma Park, he busted through a sliding glass door and stole about two dozen pieces of jewelry, including a $2,000 antique silver-and-pearl ring.

 

But he left two blood stains — a three-inch smear on an interior door and a drop on a pillow, presumably left there when he snagged a pillowcase to help cart off loot. Police tested the DNA, got a match to Hughes and booked him into jail in spring 2013. He quickly posted bond and was released.”

 

Weekly Crime Report 4/11/14 – 4/24/14

 

Arrests:

 

Unit block of Darwin Avenue, on Thursday, April 10 at 3:49 pm, two juvenile males, 15 and 17, and two adult males, 18, were arrested for possession of Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) Marijuana.

 

7400 block of New Hampshire Avenue, on Friday, April 11 at 8:34 pm, two females, 21 and 23, were arrested for possession of Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) Cocaine, possession of Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) Marijuana, Outstanding Warrants and Making False Statements.

 

7400 block of New Hampshire Avenue, on Monday, April 14 at 8:32 pm, a female, 21, was arrested for prostitution/solicitation.

 

1000 block of Larch Avenue, on Friday, April 16 at 9:12 pm, a male, 26, was arrested for illegal dumping and possession of Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) Paraphernalia.

 

7400 block of New Hampshire Avenue, on Friday, April 16, a male, 24, was arrested for Possession with the Intent to Distribute Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) Marijuana, Possession of CDS Marijuana, Distribution of CDS Marijuana and Possession of CDS Drug Paraphernalia.

 

7800 block of Cole Avenue, on Thursday, April 17 at 1:00 pm, a juvenile male, 17, was arrested for Possession with the Intent to Distribute Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) Marijuana, Possession of CDS Marijuana, and Possession of CDS Drug Paraphernalia.

 

7400 block of New Hampshire Avenue, on Tuesday, April 22 at 9:03 pm, a male, 28, was arrested for possession of Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) Cocaine and possession of CDS paraphernalia.

 

Ward 1:

 

200 block of Philadelphia Avenue, on Monday, April 14 at 6:38 pm, officers responded for vandalism.

 

7000 block of Carroll Avenue, on Tuesday, April 22 at 1:59 pm, officers responded for a theft.

 

Ward 2:

 

7500 block of Flower Avenue, on Saturday, April 12 at 9:06 am, officers responded for vandalism.

 

6800 block of New Hampshire Avenue, on Monday, April 14 at 9:40 am, officers responded for a theft from auto.

 

900 block of East West Highway, on Tuesday, April 15 at 9:22 am, officers responded for a robbery, assault, reckless endangerment and malicious destruction of property.

 

900 block of Glaizewood Avenue, on Wednesday, April 16 at 10:11 am, officers responded for a stolen auto.

 

6800 block of New Hampshire Avenue, on Sunday, April 20 at 3:00 am, officers responded for an assault.

 

900 block of Glaizewood Avenue, on Sunday, April 20 at 12:00 pm, officers responded for a theft from auto.

 

7600 block of Carroll Avenue, on Sunday, April 20 at 1:30 pm, officers responded for an assault.

 

400 block of Circle Avenue, on Monday, April 21 at 6:00 am, officers responded for a theft from auto.

 

400 block of Circle Avenue, on Monday, April 21 at 6:31 am, officers responded for a theft from auto.

 

7300 block of Jackson Avenue, on Monday, April 21 at 7:39 am, officers responded for a theft from auto.

 

900 block of Glaizewood Avenue, on Monday, April 21 at 9:31 am, officers responded for a theft from auto.

 

7300 block of Garland Avenue, on Tuesday, April 22 at 1:22 am, officers responded for a stolen auto.

 

7200 block of Minter Place, on Tuesday, April 22 at 1:45 pm, officers responded for a theft from auto.

 

Ward 3:

 

6600 block of Poplar Avenue, on Tuesday, April 15 at 3:53 pm, officers responded for a burglary.

 

Unit block of Columbia Avenue, on Saturday, April 19 at 1:58 pm, officers responded for an attempt burglary and malicious destruction of property.

 

700 block of Sycamore Avenue, on Monday, April 21 at 11:35 am, officers responded for a fraud.

 

Ward 4:

 

7500 block of Maple Avenue, on Friday, April 11 at 6:31 pm, officers responded for a theft from auto.

 

Ward 5:

 

8200 block of Houston Court, on Tuesday, April 15 at 7:11 pm, officers responded for an assault.

 

8500 block of Flower Avenue, on Monday, April 21 at 6:04 pm, officers responded for a stolen auto.

 

Ward 6:

 

7400 block of New Hampshire Avenue, on Saturday, April 12 at 9:36 pm, officers responded for a robbery.

 

1200 block of Kingwood Drive, on Sunday, April 13 at 7:24 pm, officers responded for a bicycle theft.

 

1300 block of Holton Lane, on Monday, April 14 at 9:49 am, officers responded for vandalism.

 

1100 block of University Blvd., on Monday, April 14 at 6:22 pm, officers responded for a theft from auto.

 

1300 block of University Blvd., on Wednesday, April 16 at 7:16 pm, officers responded for a fraud.

 

7600 block of New Hampshire Avenue, on Thursday, April 17 at 12:04 pm, officers responded for a theft from auto.

 

7500 block of Wildwood Drive, on Saturday, April 19 at 1:48 pm, officers responded for malicious destruction of property.

 

1300 block of Holton Lane, on Sunday, April 20 at 1:21 pm, officers responded for two stolen autos.

 

7600 block of New Hampshire Avenue, on Tuesday, April 22 at 4:54 pm, officers responded for a theft from auto.

 

7400 block of New Hampshire Avenue, on Tuesday, April 22 at 10:09 pm, officers responded for vandalism.

 

 

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