CRIME

South Capitol Street murder trial: Judge denies mistrial request after note about jury 'pressure'

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A juror sent a note to the judge expressing concerns about being pressured by other members of the jury in the South Capitol Street murder trial.

Nathaniel Simms confessed to his part in the violence and testified against his former friends and described what led up to the March 30, 2010 massacre on South Capitol Street. (Photo: ABC7)

Defense attorneys requested a mistrial, but Judge Ronna Beck denied the request.

The jury will continues its deliberations.

A female juror complained in a note Thursday that she felt pressured to change her views and wanted off the case.

Judge Beck called the jurors back into court Friday morning.

"We do not excuse jurors based on some disagreements with others," she told them. "Treat each other with civility and respect....I'm going to ask you to return and deliberate."

Today marks the eighth day of deliberations.

Five young people were killed and nine others wounded in a series of related violence in late March of 2010.

On trial are brothers Sanquan Carter, 21, and Orlando Carter, 22, whom prosecutors say started all the mayhem, and three of their friends, Jeffrey Best, Robert Bost and Lamar Williams who allegedly joined in.

Prosecutors say Sanquan Carter called his brother after he believed his bracelet was stolen at a southeast Washington home on March 21, 2010.

Prosecutors say three of the accused arrived at a home with guns and eventually killed 20-year-old Jordan Howe in the shooting that ensued. In earlier testimony, it was established that Howe had nothing to do with the stolen bracelet.

More than a week later, three teenagers were killed on South Capitol Street after Howe's funeral by shots fired from a rented minivan.

The defendants are also accused of killing another man in the series of violence.

As she denied the defense request for a mistrial, Judge Beck said she did not wish or intend to force a verdict, before she called the jurors in and told them to keep deliberating.

Deliberation resumes Monday at 9:30 a.m.

 

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