June 7 (UPI) — A White House contractor arrested for murder held a security clearance despite a prior assault charge and accusations of domestic violence.
Martese Edwards, 29, was arrested at a White House security checkpoint by agents who noticed an arrest warrant for him on an attempted first-degree murder charge. He appeared in court Wednesday and didn’t fight extradition to Maryland.
Prince George’s County Police say Edwards, who worked for the White House National Security Council, shot his former girlfriend’s boyfriend in the abdomen last month. A warrant was issued for his arrest May 17.
In a statement, the Secret Service said the sheriff’s office entered “limited information” about Edwards’ warrant and said they received no notification from the Criminal Justice Information System.
“Edwards did not come to the attention of the Secret Service at the time of warrant entry; due to the fact the original entry lacked a Universal Control Number or other personal identifiable information which would trigger an alert to the Secret Service,” the agency said.
“As to why it was not seen by the Secret Service until June 4, that is a question that they would have to answer,” sheriff’s office spokesman John Erzen said. “That is not anything I would have knowledge of.”
The incident has raised questions of how Edwards was able to obtain a security clearance at the White House.
In May 2015, Edwards was charged with second-degree assault but the case was later dismissed. He also appears in Prince George’s County civil court records as the subject of a domestic violence proceeding in 2013. The court also dismissed that case.
Brad Moss, an attorney who represents security clearance holders, said because Edwards was never convicted, he may have been able to obtain a job at the White House more easily.