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Another Arrested in Handyman’s Death

Victim worked for local business-owner.

— In June, Reynard Prather was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison. On Dec. 7, Tasheik Champean, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery and use of a firearm in a crime of violence causing death.

And last Wednesday, Dec. 12, Stacy Lorenzo Reed, 43, of Manassas, was the third person arrested in connection with the May 2010 death of Centreville handyman Jose Cardona. A Metrobus driver, Reed was arrested at the end of his route and charged with robbery.

Cardona, 39, was a married father of two who lived in Manassas Park and worked as a handyman and gardener. His employer owned nine check-cashing stores in Northern Virginia, and the conspirators believed he kept cash from those stores in his 9,000-square-foot mansion on Compton Road. So they planned to rob him at gunpoint and flee with the money.

On May 17, 2010, Prather and Champean drove from Prince George’s County, Md., to a strip mall in Virginia. During the drive, authorities say, Champean promised Prather $50,000 if he’d help rob the homeowner.

According to court documents and the Dec. 10 affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria — and written by Fairfax County Police Det. Stephen Needels — Champean was armed with a loaded, semiautomatic pistol and gave Prather a duffel bag containing the same thing.

“Both prior to and following his pleas of guilty, Prather identified Reed as one of two persons with whom he and Champean met in a strip mall [that] morning,” wrote Needels. “According to Prather, Reed drove Champean and him to the vicinity of the [home] and dropped them off.”

The two, armed men walked to the house and saw the homeowner leave. They then entered through an open garage door to await his return. According to court documents, Champean instructed Prather to restrain the homeowner’s younger son upstairs in the residence and he’d “take care of [the homeowner] upon his return.”

But around 10 a.m., before he got back, the intruders were discovered by Cardona and one of the sons.

“The four paired off in a struggle: Prather and the son and Champean and Cardona,” the documents state. “While so involved, Prather heard a shot fired and saw Cardona lying dead on the driveway in front of the garage.” The assailants then fled and, according to Needels, “were driven away by the other person they’d met that morning in a vehicle registered to Reed.”

Furthermore, he added, “Cellular tower records show that telephones associated with Reed, Champean and Prather were used in the vicinity of all the locations described above at the relevant times on May 17, 2010.”