Reynard Lazaro Prather indicted in murder of handyman Jose Cardona in Fairfax County

The pick-up truck believed to be the get-away vehicle in homicide of Jose Cardona, May 17, 2010. Photo: Fairfax County Police

A Maryland man has been indicted by a federal grand jury in the May 2010 shooting death of Jose Cardona, who was credited with defending the Fairfax County homeowners he was working for during the attempted armed robbery that cost his life.

Cardona was working as a handyman for the residents, who were the target of the armed robbery.

Reynard Lazaro Prather, 22, of Oxon Hill, Md., was indicted Thursday of conspiracy to commit robbery, use of a firearm in a crime of violence, use of a firearm in a crime of violence causing death, and possession of ammunition by a prohibited person. If convicted, Prather faces, at maximum, the death penalty or life in prison.

Police continue to search for two alleged co-conspirators who together with Prather carried out the crime.

“It's not over, we do realize there are additional people out there and that we have some more to go in this case,” said Lucy Caldwell of the Fairfax County Police.

Prather allegedly conspired with two others to rob the owner of a check cashing facility at gunpoint at the store owner's residence in Centreville. The conspirators believed the store's money was kept there, according to a statement from the office of Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Prather and a co-conspirator allegedly drove from Maryland to a shopping center in Virginia, where a third co-conspirator picked them up and dropped them off at the residence.

Court records allege that Prather and his partner were armed with semi-automatic pistols when they entered the store owner’s garage to wait for the man. The two are accused of confronting Cardona and the owner's son when they arrived at the residence.

During the struggle, court documents allege, Cardona was shot and killed by one of the two men.

After the shooting the two men were seen running and jumping into the back of a white truck, witnesses said.

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