Man indicted in Washington on charges of killing teen suspected in car break-in

Jan 31 (Reuters) - A man surrendered to District of Columbia police on Tuesday after he was indicted on a charge of second-degree murder in the killing of a 13-year-old boy he suspected of breaking into a car, the city's prosecutor said.

Jason Lewis, 41, who works for the city's Department of Parks and Recreation, was expected to enter a plea during a hearing in a District of Columbia Superior Court on Tuesday afternoon, U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves said in a statement.

The incident has raised concerns among community members and local politicians about vigilantism. City Councilman Zachary Parker said in a statement on Tuesday that he has "serious questions" about the handling of the case in which it took three weeks for charges to be pressed.

"Our community is not satisfied simply to have an individual charged. The call to build a truly safe and healthy community remains," he said. "Transparency, accountability and expeditious action is vital going forward."

Lewis maintains his innocence, his attorney Lee Smith said in a statement, noting that his client has dedicated his career to mentoring and supporting youth.

He is accused of shooting Karon Blake, whom he suspected of breaking into a car on Jan. 7. According to an affidavit, Lewis told police he was awakened shortly before 4 a.m. by noises outside of his condominium.

Lewis grabbed his handgun and went downstairs to inspect, thinking someone was trying to enter his home. He went to the entryway to his courtyard where he saw a car and "youngsters" in black, he told police, according to the affidavit.

"Upon exiting the residence, a shot was fired. After that shot was fired ... Karon and another person who is unidentified began to run," Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee III said during a news conference on Tuesday, noting that the first shot was fired at a getaway vehicle.

"At some point, Karon ran toward Mr. Lewis and Mr. Lewis fired shots striking Karon," Contee added.

Lewis called 911 and began performing CPR on the boy, police wrote.

Video surveillance captured Blake yelling "I am sorry," followed by him saying "please don't" and "no" numerous times. a

Lewis had a permit to carry a concealed gun and that the gun was registered to his home. No other weapons were found at the scene, police said.

Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Chicago; editing by Jonathan Oatis and David Gregorio

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