D.C.

South Capitol Street murder trial: Guilty of murder

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The trial of five people involved in one of the most deadly spates of violence in the history of the District of Columbia came to an end Monday when each defendant was convicted on murder charges.

After a week of protracted and reportedly tense deliberations, all five men on trial - Sanquan Carter, Orlando Carter, Jeffrey Best, Robert Bost and Lamar Williams - were found guilty of the most serious charges against them, including murder. The verdict came after an emotional trial that lasted more than two months and involved more than 100 witnesses and more than 1,000 pieces of evidence.

All five took part in a series of related shootings and incidents in late March of 2010, culminating in a shooting that killed three people at a funeral gathering on South Capitol Street. In total, five young people were killed and nine others wounded. All five will be sentenced on Sept. 11, with all of them facing life in prison.

"The crime was so horrible...you don't want people like that out there," one juror, who refused to be identified said, said.

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

Williams was found not guilty of some minor charges.

As Judge Ronna Beck read the charges, the response from the jury foreman was almost always guilty, including counts of murder and conspiracy, against the five young men.

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 father and grandmother of Brishell Jones, a 16-year-old one of the people killed in the mayhem, said that the judge doled out the justice Brishell deserved. Meanwhile, the parents of 20-year-old Jordan Howe, another victim who was killed on Alabama Avenue SE on March 22, 2010, were pleased with the result as well.

"What it assures is that these evil young men will never be on the street to harm anyone else," Jordan's father, Norman Williams, said.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said there was "no question in her mind" that the city is safer with these five men off the streets.

In addition to Howe and Jones, 17-year-old Tavon Nelson, 18-year-old Davaugn Boyd and 19-year-old William Jones were killed in the violence.

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