Criminal Justice

Woman who met lawyer on social media is accused in his killing; one other suspect is also charged

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Police have arrested two people in the killing of a lawyer in his home above his law office in Laurel, Maryland. One of them is a woman he met on social media and invited into his home, police say.

Police say key details of the Jan. 30 killing of lawyer Brian R. Bregman, 43, were captured on video and audio, report the Washington Post and NBC Washington.

Police said Bregman’s building had several exterior cameras and one interior camera. A damaged camcorder was also found on the bedroom floor.

Bregman died from multiple gunshot wounds. Police allege that Bregman invited Marie Nancy Hassan, 23, of Hyattsville, Maryland, to his home Jan. 30, and she unlocked a door to let in three other assailants. Police think one of those three assailants was Caleb Rinwi Gonga, 21, of Lanham, Maryland. Two other people are being sought.

Police have charged Hassan and Gonga with first- and second-degree murder, home invasion, and first- and second-degree assault, according to a Feb. 12 press release. Hassan was also charged with armed robbery, while Gonga was also charged with use of a firearm during a felony violent crime, handgun on a person, and loaded handgun on a person.

Bregman has had positions in the field of public safety, including as a paramedic, a volunteer firefighter, a forensic death investigator for the state of Maryland, and a reserve police officer in Washington, D.C. Lawyers praised Bregman as a “statutory wizard” and talented lawyer who often offered his support to other lawyers.

Bregman practiced law in a wide variety of areas, according to a profile on his law firm website. They included criminal defense, civil litigation, personal injury, taxation and corporate matters.

Police found Bregman’s body Feb. 3 after receiving a call from an employee who went to his home to check on him. The employee called police after finding that his back door was open, and the home appeared to have been ransacked.

The Washington Post reached Gonga’s father, who at first refused to comment. When the Washington Post said a story was planned, Gonga’s father said, “How can you write a story when it’s not true?”

Laurel Police Chief Russ Hamill said police don’t think Bregman represented Hassan or Gonga as clients, according to the Washington Post. Hamill said police weren’t ready to speak about possible connections to the other suspects.

“This was not some random event; this was a targeted event,” Hamill said.

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