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Case Against Son Is Shaky, Lawyer Says

An 18-year-old Marine from North Potomac accused of killing his father on Christmas Day remained held without bond yesterday as his attorney questioned the evidence police cited in a warrant for the man’s arrest.

The attorney, Barry H. Helfand, said police have not recovered a weapon, spoken to a witness to the slaying or obtained an incriminating statement from the defendant, David Winters.

“This is like charging someone with murder and we’ll do the investigation later,” Helfand said during an afternoon bond hearing in Rockville.

Assistant State’s Attorney Carol Crawford said detectives had enough evidence to implicate Winters in the fatal stabbing of his father, Andrew Winters, 55, and argued that releasing him would pose a danger to other relatives.

David Winters spoke to District Court Judge Gary G. Everngam from jail through a closed-circuit camera system. He stood upright, his chest thrust out, and answered routine questions by blaring out “Yes, sir!” and “Winters, sir!”

Winters recently finished boot camp and was home for the holidays.

Police say David and Andrew Winters went for a walk around their North Potomac neighborhood Tuesday night. David Winters later sought treatment at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital for superficial cuts on his fingers. He told investigators that he was wounded fighting off a group of five or six men who assaulted him and his father in the area of Muddy Branch Park.

Detectives found Andrew Winters’s body in a wooded area in the park and charged David Winters. Police say the amount of blood on David Winters’s clothes led them to question his story about the assault, which police say they could not corroborate.

Though he questioned the strength of the evidence against his client, Helfand told reporters after the hearing that Winters’s relatives believe the police account of what happened that night.

“This is just the beginning of the case,” Helfand said, without elaborating.

No relatives or supporters of the Winterses spoke during the hearing.

Andrew Winters’s funeral will be held today at 11 a.m. at Temple Beth Ami, 14330 Travilah Rd., in Rockville.

As the bond hearing ended, Helfand told David Winters: “Remember what they taught you in the Marine Corps. You’re a prisoner of war. Don’t talk to anyone until you talk to me!”

Client Reviews
"I have watched Mr. Helfand in trial and in negotiations. He is remarkable. Mr. Helfand is extremely knowledgeable in the law, and even more knowledgeable in the ways to deal with people." Afshin Pishevar, Criminal Defense Attorney in Rockville, MD
"I strongly endorse this lawyer. I have known Mr. Helfand for many years. We have worked together on cases and represented conflicting parties. I have watched Mr. Helfand in trial and in negotiations. He is remarkable." David Felsen, Criminal Defense Attorney in Rockville, MD
"It’s one of the biggest cases that’s been tried in Montgomery County in a long time,” said Steve VanGrack, a Rockville lawyer considering a Democratic bid for state’s attorney." Washington Post