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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Son of disgraced former George W. Bush aide 'killed man, 25, with a hatchet during an altercation at the family's home

Crime scene: Investigators gather outside the Maryland property where a man was killed with a hatchet
The son of a former aide to President George W. Bush has been charged with murdering a man with a hatchet at his home. 

Claude Alexander Allen III, 20, was arrested on Friday by police after they found the body of Michael Phillip Harvey, 25, in the woods near the Allen family home in Gaithersburg, Maryland. 

Records show that the home is owned by Allen's father, Claude A. Allen, a former Bush domestic policy adviser who pleaded guilty to theft in 2006. 

A man called 911 around midnight and told police that he killed an intruder after he tried to break in. But authorities determined it wasn't a break-in and that the younger Allen knew Harvey. 

Harvey's body was found around 75 yards behind the house but police told the Washington Post that they believe an altercation occurred and the attack started in a two-car garage. 

Montgomery County Police Capt. Jim Daly told the Post it was not clear if the argument moved to the woods or if the man's body was dragged there after he died. 

When police arrived at the large white-brick home, Allen was waiting for them but that his parents were not home at the time of the attack. 

Another man had been there, but left by the time police arrived. They tracked him down and questioned him but he is not a suspect, Daly told the Post

A lawyer who represented the younger Allen in a marijuana case declined comment. 

It is not the family's first brush with the law; Claude Alexander Allen, now 52, was arrested in 2006 for allegedly claiming refunds for more than $5,000 worth of merchandise he did not buy. 

The thefts occurred at 25 stores from 2005 until 2006 even though his annual salary as an adviser was $160,000 

'I was shocked and my first reaction was one of disappointment, deep disappointment - if it's true - that we were not fully informed,' Bush said at the time. 

Allen pleaded guilty to theft on August 4, 2006. 

He claimed that in the months leading up to the thefts, he had suffered huge stress and sleep deprivation. His wife cited Hurricane Katrina and his subsequent work as one of the causes of stress. 

Allen was ordered to reimburse Target for the $850 of stolen merchandise. He also paid a $500 fine and agreed to perform 40 hours of community service. 

A trained lawyer, he was a deputy secretary in the Department of Health and Human Services and nominated to a federal appeals court seat in 2003. 

He joined the White House during Bush's second term but abruptly resigned from the role shortly after being charged with misdemeanor theft. 

In September 2011, the D.C. Court of Appeals suspended his license to practice law in D.C. fora year, following suspensions in Virginia and Pennsylvania. 

His son is one of four children with his wife, Jannese.
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