Police ID Benjamin Jennings as Man Killed in Bladensburg Road Beating

MPD has identified a homeless man who died after an altercation on Bladensburg Road Northeast last weekend as 57-year-old Benjamin Jennings.

Police found Jennings lying unconscious and unresponsive in the roadway, according to a statement. He died a day later at a local hospital.

Frank Lee Blanding, 20, was arrested on July 10 on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter in Jennings’ death.

According to court documents, Jennings approached Blanding, who was driving a van, at a stoplight and asked for money. When Blanding refused, Jennings called him “stingy” and threatened him with a butter knife, until Blanding got out of the car and punched him twice, knocking him to the ground, documents say.

Blanding was released under high-intensity supervision after a presentment hearing Friday.

A press release from MPD is below:

(Washington, DC) - Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch have announced that the decedent has been positively identified in the homicide which occurred in the 1200 block of Bladensburg Road, Northeast.

On Sunday, July 6, 2014, at approximately 10:06 pm, police officers from the Fifth District responded to a call for an aggravated assault/unconscious person in the 1200 block of Bladensburg Road, Northeast. Upon arrival, they located an adult male unconscious and unresponsive lying in the roadway. DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services personnel transported the victim to a local hospital, where he was listed in critical condition.

On Monday, July 7, 2014, at approximately, 5:45 pm, the victim succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead.

On Tuesday, July 8, 2014, an autopsy was performed on the decedent and determined the cause of death to be blunt force injuries of the head. The manner was ruled a homicide.

The decedent has been positively identified as 57-year-old Benjamin Jennings of no fixed address.

On Thursday, July 10, 2014, at approximately 4:00 pm, pursuant to a DC Superior Court Arrest Warrant, members of the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested 20 year-old Frank Lee Blanding of District Heights, Maryland charging him with Involuntary Manslaughter in connection to this homicide.

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