Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Lothian, MD: Suspect In DC Police Shooting Killed Wife And Her Sister First, Police Say

Police: Man kills estranged wife, her sister

Published 09/03/09

Two weeks ago, 50-year-old Sheena Blandford filed for a protection order against her husband, claiming he had tried to run her over with his truck and then threatened her with a hammer.

Joshua McKerrow - The Capital
Lt. James Fredericks, a county Police Department spokesman, briefs reporters about a double homicide in Boone's Mobile Estates in Lothian. Police say Theodore Nathaniel Blandford shot and killed his estranged wife and her sister early Wednesday morning in the home. He was later shot and killed by police after a chase that led into Washington, D.C.

County police said her husband, Theodore Nathaniel Blandford, 51, shot and killed Sheena and her sister yesterday morning at their Lothian mobile home. He then led officers on a chase into Washington, D.C., where he got into a gun battle with them.

He was ultimately shot and killed by nine Prince George's County Police officers. Officials would not say how many shots were fired.

Witnesses called police at about 6:30 a.m. after seeing someone apparently attempt to break into a residence in Boone's Mobile Estates. Before police arrived, witnesses said the man drove off in an SUV.

When they arrived, officers found the bodies of Blandford's estranged wife, Sheena, 50, and her sister, Cheryl Timmons, 55, of Annapolis, inside the residence at 279 Ella Welch Way.

Prince George's County Police were assisting Anne Arundel County detectives search-ing for the suspect in Largo when they spotted the suspected SUV and tried to stop the vehicle. But it sped off and a chase ensued.

The chase ended in southeast Washington, D.C., at the intersection of Minnesota Avenue and East Capitol Street, where police said Blandford got out of the SUV and attempted to run away.

Police said that after Blandford fired at officers during the foot chase, they fired back and struck him. Police said he died a short time later at Prince George's Hospital Center.

Online court records show that Blandford has a long criminal record, with charges ranging from multiple burglary cases to first-degree assault to possession of drugs.

Neighbors in Boone's Estates said the Blandfords had lived in the community for only about six months.

Police said they didn't know if an argument or any other circumstances led to the shooting.

Lt. James Fredericks, a county Police Department spokesman, said Sheena Blandford and her husband were estranged.

County police had been called to the Blandford home seven times in August, according to police records. Twice, they were there to assist Prince George's County Police Department in serving a burglary warrant. Theodore Blandford also called them there three times, asking for them to stand by while he retrieved items from the home, police said.

According to court records, Sheena Blandford was given a temporary peace order against her husband on Aug. 19 and a final one on Friday, less than a week before the shootings.

"It's an unfortunate ending to the case," Fredericks said.

In her petition for a protection order, Sheena Blandford wrote that her husband was high on crack on Aug. 17 and the two were having an argument about him going into treatment. Then he became angry and aggressive, she wrote. She left the home to go to her car and he followed her, got into his car and drove up onto the lawn toward her.

After she jumped out of the way, he grabbed a hammer and threatened to hit her in the head with it as she ran toward a neighbor's house, she wrote in her petition.

"I am afraid to go home," Sheena Blandford wrote.

Police responded to the Aug. 17 incident, but since the fight appeared to be only verbal, officers separated the two and advised Sheena about filing protective orders. They served the protective order two days later, but she called officers again on Aug. 26, telling them her husband was driving around the area yelling at her.

Sheena Blandford worked at Hope House in Crownsville. According to an article in The Washington Post, her son was killed in Iraq in February 2008.

Theodore Blandford has a lengthy criminal history dating back to 1985. He was arrested in the county in June for a May robbery in Crofton, and he had an outstanding burglary warrant from Prince George's County for a May burglary.

James Gossett, who lives near the Blandfords' home, said he rarely sees police activity in the mobile home community.

"Everyone goes crazy when they do, because it's a quiet neighborhood," he said.

Schoolchildren catch the bus right in front of the Blandford home, said Mindy Watts, who also lives nearby.

James McManus, another neighbor, said he used to see Sheena Blandford walking her dog in the mornings and evenings. He said the Blandfords had been married for only a year, but that police had been to that residence a couple of times over the past several months.

He already was awake when police arrived, and he said "about 16" police cars blanketed the area.

"You never think something like this could happen in your neighborhood," he said.

The shootings mark the 12th and 13th homicides in the county this year, including three police-involved shootings in which police shot and killed a suspect.


Susan Phillips Date last updated: 9/2/2009 6:48:46 PM

An Anne Arundel County woman, who just received a protective order against her husband last week, was shot to death along with her sister at her home.

WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- An Anne Arundel County woman, who just received a protective order against her husband last week, was shot to death along with her sister,Chery Timmons, at her home in Lothian, Maryland Wednesday morning.

Witnesses say they saw the suspect breaking into the home and then heard gunshots.

Police have identified the suspect as Sheena Blandford's estranged husband, Theodore. After he shot the two women, Blandford fled. Anne Arundel County Police asked Prince George's County Police to check an address on Upper Marlboro Pike where he was known to reside.

Once Prince George's County detectives got there, Blandford fled in a white SUV. Officers chased him into the District.

Investigators say Blandford got out of the vehicle in the 3600 block of Minnesota Avenue in Southeast and got into a gun battle with officers from Prince George's County who returned fire.

Blandford was shot and taken to the hospital where he later died.

DC Police are investigating the shooting which may have involved up to nine Prince George's County officers.

Written by Audrey Barnes

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