Police in Montgomery County, Md., announced the arrest Wednesday of a fourth suspect charged in the murder of gay D.C. middle school principal Brian Betts.
Joel Johnson, 19, whose address could not be confirmed, was apprehended by D.C. police at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday along the 100 block of Ivanhoe Street, S.W., according to a police statement.
The statement from Montgomery County police says he was charged with one count of first-degree murder, one count of armed robbery and three counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. He was being held at the D.C. jail pending extradition proceedings that would move him to Montgomery County.
Betts, 42, was found shot to death April 15 in an upper floor bedroom in his house in Silver Spring, Md. Earlier this month, police arrested Sharif Lancaster, Alante Saunders, and Deontra Gray — each 18 years old — on first-degree murder and armed robbery charges in connection with the Betts murder.
Police also charged Artura Otey Williams, 46, the mother of Lancaster, with receiving and using a credit card stolen from Betts by the three men charged in the murder.
Police said Betts met one or more of the three teens charged with his murder through a telephone sex chat line. Betts became the second D.C. area gay man to be murdered and at least the third to be attacked and robbed by someone they met through an Internet or phone chat line since last December.
Gays & Lesbians Opposing Violence recently issued alerts urging people to use caution when meeting strangers through social networking venues such as the Internet or phone chat lines.