February 17, 2010 at 5:46 pm EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Hearing set for murder suspect

A 17-year-old male charged with first-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of gay Maryland resident Gordon Rivers was scheduled to appear Thursday for a preliminary hearing in D.C. Superior Court.

Rivers, 47, was found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds in front of 2641 Naylor Road, S.E., in the District about 5:30 p.m. Jan. 10, police said. He was pronounced dead a short time later at a nearby hospital.

Police on Jan. 29 arrested D.C. resident William Wren on a charge of first-degree felony murder while armed. According to a police affidavit, Wren said he and Rivers had known each other prior to the shooting and that he accidently shot Rivers while attempting to rob him inside the victim’s car.

The affidavit says Wren acknowledged calling Rivers and inviting him to an area near where Wren lived to lure him into a position where he could be robbed. He said Rivers pulled out a gun during the botched robbery, but police have a witness who saw Wren carrying the gun into Rivers’ car, according to the affidavit.

Police have yet to disclose how Wren and Rivers met and whether the murder was linked to Rivers’ sexual orientation. Court observers have speculated that answers to those questions might surface in court. Thursday’s hearing occurred after DC Agenda deadline. Check www.washingtonblade.com for updates.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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