Three middle school students have been charged with first-degree murder -- two of them as adults -- in the stabbing death of a Prince George’s County man that police said was done to gain standing in a gang.
The two oldest teens, ages 14 and 15, have been charged as adults, while Maryland law doesn't allow a 13-year-old to be charged in adult court, so he hasn't been identified by authorities.
Prince George’s County Police officers and Maryland National Capital Park Police were called about 11 p.m. May 10 to the Northwest Branch Hiker Biker Trail in Langley Park on a report of an unconscious man. Investigators believe the victim, Akinleye Warner, 19, of Langley Park, went to the park with three acquaintances, one of whom was reportedly there for a drug transaction.
Police say that during the attempted drug sale, Warner was stabbed multiple times and later died. The suspects are gang members who committed the crime in order to gain notoriety within the gang, officers allege.
Investigators have arrested three teenage suspects, all of whom are charged with first-degree murder. Those charged as adults are Nelson Rivera-Anaya, 15, of the 5400 block of Barker Place in Lanham; Angel Contreras, 14, of the 1200 block of Lebanon Avenue in Silver Spring. A 13-year-old, who under state law can’t be charged as an adult, also faces a first-degree murder charge as a juvenile.
Rivera-Anaya and Contreras are being held at the Department of Corrections on a no-bond status. The 13- year-old is being held at the Cheltenham Youth Facility.
The three suspects attend or used to attend Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi.
Throughout the investigation, the Prince George’s County Police Department has worked closely with school leaders to ensure the safety of students. Additional patrol resources have been stationed at the affected schools since the stabbing occurred.
Additional investigators were assigned within the school system to add another layer of security. Those investigators will share information with school leadership regarding any possible gang activity.
Up to a $25,000 reward is available for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case. Call 1-866-411-TIPS.