Frederick man accused of killing witness in his drug trial

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Lavonte Darnell Nash is accused of killing Gregory Knight in June 2019. Knight was supposed to be a court witness in Nash's drug charges case

Lavonte Darnell Nash is charged with first degree murder and other offenses, Courtesy: Frederick Police Department

FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — A Frederick, Maryland man who is accused of killing a potential witness in his drug trial waived his right to a bond review in Frederick County Circuit Court Thursday morning, the Frederick Police Department said.

Police said the Frederick Grand Jury returned a fifty-count indictment against Lavonte Darnell Nash, 27 on Jan. 24 2020 for the June 2019 killing of Gregory Knight. Nash is charged with the following offenses:

  • First degree murder
  • Attempted first degree murder
  • Retaliation against a witness
  • Use of a firearm in a crime of violence
  • Illegal possession of a regulated firearm
  • First degree assault
  • Conspiracy
  • Distribution of narcotics
  • Possession with the intent to distribute narcotics
  • Participation in a criminal gang

Nash is accused of selling cocaine to Knight in May 2017, and Knight was supposed to appear as a witness in court against Nash for drug related charges. Police said Nash is suspected of premeditated murder against the victim, and also trying to kill another person in connection with the same incident.

Police believe Nash is a member of a criminal and drug-trafficking gang called “PA-32” based in Frederick. He is also being charged in two gang-related shootings on Market Street in downtown Frederick that happened on August 31, 2019 and Sept. 8, 2019. Investigators allege that the crimes Nash is accused of were committed in association with “PA-32.”

Police said the investigation took place over six months and investigators used intercepted communications from Nash’s phone lines to connect him with the murder. The Frederick County, Maryland State’s Attorney Charlie Smith said the case is one of the more complex investigations in recent history. “I could easily see it taking three weeks to litigate,” Smith said in a news release.

Police said multiple agencies assisted in the investigation, which is still ongoing. They are:

  • The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Investigation Section
  • Homeland Security Investigations
  • Maryland State Police
  • Brunswick Police Department.
  • Maryland Criminal Intelligence Network
  • The Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention

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