Kluttz Charged with Abduction

Kluttz Charged with Abduction

David Kluttz, 37, was charged by an Alexandria grand jury on Feb. 7 for the abduction and attempted murder of attorney Kenneth Labowitz, 55. Kluttz, of Alexandria, was charged with of 11 counts in all. Last week, Kluttz retained new attorneys, and proceedings in Alexandria Circuit Court are scheduled to continue on April 22.

Aubrey "Mike" Berryman, 25, was also charged in the abduction. The Feb. 7 grand jury charged Berryman with the kidnapping and malicious wounding of Labowitz but not attempted murder. Motion hearings in Berryman's case are currently scheduled for March 3, in Alexandria Circuit Court.

The third suspect in the case, Fred Baruday, 75, of Alexandria, was being evaluated for his competency to stand trial. His case has not been heard by the grand jury, but proceedings in General District Court are expected to continue this month.

<b>AFTER KIDNAPPING</b>Labowitz from his Alexandria home on Dec. 7, 2004, Kluttz, Aubrey Berryman and Fred Baruday led him to a wooded area at Watergate at Landmark, according to testimony from Labowitz during a preliminary hearing in General District Court on Jan. 12.

"David [Kluttz] said he wanted to show me what he had prepared for me. It was my grave," Labowitz testified.

All three defendants were armed when they posed as federal agents and entered Labowitz's home. Berryman told Detective Thomas Durkin that "Kluttz had come up with the idea 24 to 48 hours before they did the kidnapping," according to testimony from Durkin at the preliminary hearing in January.

Labowitz served as the court-appointed guardian of Eloise O'Connor, Baruday's aunt. Both Baruday and Kluttz apparently believed that they should benefit from O'Connor's assets, including her unit at the Watergate at Landmark, and that Labowitz was a threat to their interests.

"During the abduction, all three defendant wore sidearms, and Kluttz carried a rifle which he pointed in the direction of various occupants of the Labowitz household before removing Labowitz from his home," wrote S. Randolph Sengel, Commonwealth's Attorney, in court documents.

<1b>— Ken Moore