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Navy hospital corpsman held on DC murder charge in ‘domestic homicide’

U.S. Marines participating in the Martial Arts Instructor Trainer (MAIT) Course 2-18 complete the course’s culminating event at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, July 18, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Melissa Marnell)

A Quantico, Va.-based corpsman faces a second degree murder charge in the stabbing death of a Washington D.C. man, according to local police and court officials.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Collin J. Potter, 26, was accused in the early Sunday morning death of 36-year-old Vongell Lugo, who was found dead in the hallway of an apartment building after suffering multiple stab wounds, according to Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department. Lugo was pronounced dead on the scene at The Garfield House apartment building in the 2800 block of Wisconsin Avenue in the city’s northwest quadrant after police were called there just after 4 a.m. Sunday.

Potter was arrested at the scene after police developed “probable cause” to charge him, according to a two paragraph description of the incident in a police report. The report did not indicate whether police had determined a motive in the attack.

Metro Police Chief Peter Newsham described the incident as a “domestic homicide” to reporters during a news conference Monday, suggesting the two knew each other. The chief did not elaborate on his description, and a police spokeswoman said Tuesday that the department had no further information about the incident and considered the case closed.

Potter is assigned to the Basic Training School Command at Marine Corps Base Quantico, about 30 miles south of Washington, where he has been stationed since January 2018, according to his Navy personnel records.

He enlisted in the Navy in September 2010 in Idaho, and attained his current rank of E-4 in December 2014. He previously served at Naval Hospital Yokosuka in Japan, according to those records.

Potter remains jailed at the D.C. Central Detention Facility without bond and is awaiting a Jan. 18 arraignment, according to D.C. Superior Court records.

Police initially charged him Sunday with first degree murder while armed. That charge was downgraded to second degree murder while armed during his initial appearance before a judge Monday, the court records show. An attorney assigned to represent him could not be reached Tuesday.


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