A Washington, D.C., man was indicted on 17 criminal charges on Wednesday in connection to a series of hate crimes carried out against homeless men in the nation's capital and New York City earlier this year.
Prosecutors allege Gerald Brevard III, a career criminal who was once himself homeless, purposely targeted victims he thought were homeless during a March crime spree.
In Washington, he is accused of assaulting three men in with a firearm between March 3 and March 9. He allegedly assaulted the first victim, Jerald Turner, with a firearm with the intent to kill him. He assaulted a second man, Charles Harris III, five days later and left him with permanent bodily injuries. On March 9, he shot and stabbed Morgan Holmes to death, according to the indictment. Authorities found the 54-year-old's mangled body in a tent that had been set on fire near Washington's Union Market.
Brevard then made his way to New York, where police believe he shot a homeless man who was sleeping near the Holland Tunnel. Less than two hours later, another homeless man who had been sleeping about 15 blocks away was shot and killed.
Detectives tracked Brevard down using witness descriptions, security camera images, and cellphone location data that showed he was in both cities when the attacks took place.
On March 14, he posted a picture of himself on Instagram with a caption that read, "Feeling Devilish Feeling Godly." The 30-year-old was arrested a day later at an Exxon gas station in Washington.
It is unclear what Brevard's motives might have been, though if he is convicted of hate crimes, it could increase any jail time he receives.
Wednesday's grand jury indictment against Brevard only covers crimes he allegedly committed in Washington. He faces life in prison if found guilty of the murder charge.
Brevard has been in and out of the prison system for years on charges stemming from attacking a bicyclist with a knife, drug possession, and assaulting a police officer. He was evaluated and released from a psychiatric hospital in 2019.
He was on probation in northern Virginia on an abduction charge that had been pleaded down to a misdemeanor when he allegedly turned his sights on the homeless community.