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Up to 60% off shorts and running shoes A man is injured in a shooting near the Javits Center, the perpetrators are at large

A 54-year-old man was convicted of murdering the son of a Prince George’s County police detective on a basketball court in October, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Kenneth Elwood Smith of Fort Washington was found guilty by a jury last week of first-degree murder, attempted murder and related charges in the killing of 30-year-old Desmond Thomas. He faces two life sentences, prosecutors said.

“Desmond Thomas was the son of Officer Donnell Thomas. It is especially painful for Detective Thomas because his job is to protect and serve our community every day,” Prince George’s County District Attorney Aisha Braveboy (D) said at a press conference on Tuesday. “That his son became a victim of the crime and violence he fought against for years is unimaginable.”

On Oct. 27, Thomas went to a park in Fort Washington to play basketball with another man, a federal police officer, when Smith came to the park with his stepson looking for one of his daughters because her phone’s tracking device had stopped working, prosecutors said.

When Smith arrived at the park, he found his two daughters playing on the swings and saw Thomas and the other man on the nearby basketball court, prosecutors said. He then confronted the man thought his daughters were with them in the park.

Smith began cursing at Thomas and the other man, accusing them of being there with the girls, Assistant District Attorney William Porter said at the news conference. The two victims denied knowing the girls and said they were there to play basketball, Porter said.

During the altercation, Smith’s stepson, 19-year-old Lamont Scott, shot Thomas twice from a car before Smith fatally stabbed him in the back, Porter said.

The surviving victim was also shot and, according to police, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

“These guys were just playing basketball,” Porter said. “Instead of Kenneth Smith stopping, asking his daughter what was wrong, and then taking her home … he killed a police officer’s son.”

According to Braveboy, there is even evidence provided by Smith’s daughters themselves that the two couples had no contact with each other in the park.

Ralph Warren Sr., Smith’s defense attorney, said in a phone call that they plan to appeal the verdict.

“We strongly disagree with the verdict,” Warren said. “We do not believe the evidence supports the jury’s verdict … our position is that he told the truth. Mr. Smith had every right to defend his family based on the evidence.”

Prosecutors, however, said Smith repeatedly lied in his defense testimony, denying that he removed evidence from the car, including blood and the knife used in the murder, despite having a phone call from jail in which he boasted about working with Scott to destroy evidence.

An attorney listed in Scott’s online court records did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Scott’s trial is scheduled for July.

Thomas’ family stood alongside Braveboy at Tuesday’s press conference, holding a wooden picture frame with a photo of Thomas and his 6-year-old son. His uncle, Mount Rainier Police Chief Linwood Alston, described Thomas as a “bright light,” “devoted to his family” and “committed to justice.”

Thomas graduated from High Point High School and worked at Amazon. He often played basketball with his son at the park, his family said.

“My firstborn son, Desmond, was taken from me in a completely senseless, tragic and preventable act of violence. This should never have happened,” said Donnell Thomas. “But Desmond will live on in his son.”

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