Suspect in murders of homeless in New York and D.C. avoided prison for dozens of alleged crimes

Police arrested the man suspected of shooting five homeless men in New York and Washington, D.C. and it turns out he has a long rap sheet and was once previously found to be “incompetent” to stand trial.

The father of Gerald Brevard III, who was arrested on Tuesday, told the Daily Mail that his 30-year-old son “suffers from mental illness” and that the judicial system has failed him.

The suspect reportedly was wanted on dozens of charges in Maryland and was due in court in Virginia for allegedly violating his probation, according to NBC4 Washington which noted that online court records indicate Brevard has also faced charges in the District.

Brevard was arrested Tuesday in connection with the five attacks which left two homeless men dead and three others injured. He is now facing first-degree murder charges for the death of 54-year-old Morgan Holmes.

“We believe that it’s random. I don’t know that he knew these guys,” D.C. Chief Robert Contee told reporters at a press conference Tuesday.

Brevard’s criminal history, however, goes back more than a decade for crimes that include armed robbery, stabbing, and sexual assault.

(Video: NBC Washington)

He was charged with multiple crimes in Fairfax County, Virginia, including attacks on women in 2020, according to NBC Washington. Felony charges of abduction with intent to defile and burglary were downgraded to misdemeanors due to a plea deal at the time, and he never ended up completing his 11-month sentence for assault and battery and unlawful entry as he was released early.

He was due in court this week after violating the one-year probation he was given.

According to

Brevard III was subject to a psychological evaluation during a 2019 trial for unlawful entry and assault. A report from the DC Department of Behavioral Health said he had been diagnosed with ‘Major Depressive Disorder with Psychotic Features.’

During an interview by a clinical psychologist he ‘continued to present with illogical/irrational ideations’, and prison staff said he ‘demonstrated bizarre behaviors’, the June 2019 report said.

Dr. Teresa Grant also noted in her report that he had ‘lodged paperwork in his buttocks’ that was found when he was searched at the courthouse, and Brevard told her ‘It was my rap songs… I did not want anyone to steal them.’


Brevard was sent to a hospital after he was deemed incompetent to stand trial but he was released in July 2019 after a plea deal despite a DC Superior Court Judge finding he was competent to stand trial.

“In Cecil County, Maryland, a court clerk confirmed Brevard is wanted on nearly three dozen misdemeanor theft and fraud charges. That bench warrant was issued in February of last year,” NBC Washington reported.

In a phone call with the news station’s Shomari Stone, the suspect’s father said he is “pained” by the crimes his son allegedly committed.

“He’s always been a nonviolent, mild-mannered kid, very timid,” Gerald Brevard Jr. said. “I know it’s alleged, but if it turns out to be true, knowing what I know over the years of dealing with him and his mental issues, I can just see how it just deteriorated.”

He noted that his son had also been homeless at times and had once stayed at a shelter in the D.C. area.

“He is a good person and like many across the world, he suffers from mental illness. The bigger picture is not that he has mental illness, but the number of times that he’s been within the judicial system and how the system has failed regarding the treatment of so many, including my son,” Brevard Jr. said.

Frieda Powers


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