Jury Finds Defendants Guilty in Apartment Stabbing

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After deliberating for three days, a jury found three men guilty of murder.

Charles McRae, Willie Glover and Joseph Barbour killed Lenard Wills in an apartment on the 700 block of 24th Street, NE.

McRae was found guilty of felony murder while armed under aggravated circumstances, burglary one while armed, attempt to commit robbery while armed, assault with intent to commit robbery while armed and simple assault. He was found not guilty of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence.

Barbour,38, was found guilty of felony murder while armed under aggravated circumstances, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, burglary one while armed, attempt to commit robbery while armed, assault with intent to commit robbery while armed,  unlawful possession with a prior conviction, assault with a dangerous weapon and simple assault. Barbour was found not guilty of carrying a pistol with a prior felony.

Glover, 40,  was found guilty of felony murder while armed under aggravating circumstances, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, burglary one while armed, attempt to commit robbery while armed, assault with intent to commit robbery while armed and assault with a dangerous weapon. He was found not guilty of carrying a pistol without a license.

What Happened?

One night in 2015, witnesses said three men stormed into the crowded apartment demanding money. When the chaos subsided, Wills, 50, was dead.

According to court documents and testimony from several witnesses, on the day of the incident, McRae and Wills’ girlfriend argued about money. Witnesses said McRae then left the apartment.

According to witness testimony, Wills was sitting at the dining room table smoking a cigarette and drinking beer before the robbers entered.

Another witness said McRae shouted “you know what time it is!” as he came back to the apartment with Barbour and Glover who were wearing masks. “Get out the way-this has nothing to do with you,” McRae told the people near Wills. The men demanded money from Wills and beat him with their guns.

A witness, who said he often acted as the apartment’s unofficial “doorman,” identified Barbour and Glover.

According to witness testimony, when the men began beating Wills, he swung a knife at them. McRae then grabbed a knife from a drying rack in the kitchen, walked over to the scuffle and stabbed Wills.

Wills was apparently speaking and moving around for some time after the stabbing. He asked to be taken to the hospital, then asked for someone to call an ambulance.

“I ain’t gonna make it drivin’,” Wills said according to a witness.

Another witness said he saw Glover get in his van and speed off after the attack. Soon after the incident, a speed-camera snapped a picture of Glover’s license plate.

The Metropolitan Police Department arrived to find people fleeing the building, blood in the hallway and Wills lying on the apartment floor, his breathing labored.

A medical examiner confirmed the cause of Wills’ death was multiple stab wounds to the torso. The examiner also found blunt-force injuries caused by a small or medium-sized heavy objecton Wills’ head and face.

DNA taken from the living room floor was a mixture from three individuals. The only person who could be identified by DNA testing was Barbour, who was stabbed during the incident.

MPD recovered a knife covered in Barbour’s blood. During trial, a forensic analyst testified that she could not be sure if the knife was used to kill Wills. She said it was possible that a kitchen knife was used instead.

Another man, arrested for crossing police lines near where Barbour was detained, had a kitchen knife slung through his waistband. The knife was never tested as a potential murder weapon. The man was not charged in connection to the murder.

Samuel Delgado, Barbour’s defense attorney, said his client was an innocent victim of the attack, and the real third attacker “ran from (the apartment) into the night forevermore.”

Delgado urged jurors to disregard the witnesses’ testimonies. “They had been binging on crack cocaine and heroin for days,” the attorney said. “Those witnesses were malleable as a lump of clay… (The lead detective) began to mold his own version of the truth.”

Delgado also complained that some witnesses, who claimed to want to do the right thing by testifying, had not voluntarily spoken to police after the incident. He said the witnesses came forward after being detained for other crimes.

Delgado said witnesses gossiped with each other, corrupting their own memories of what happened and creating false narratives in the minds of people who were not actually there.

During his closing argument, McRae’s attorney, Elliott Queen, cited a witness who he said was more reliable than the others because she held a steady job at the U.S. Post Office. That witness said she did not recognize the unmasked robber, who others identified as McRae, despite being a regular at the apartment.

Queen said his client’s relationship with Wills and his girlfriend was friendly. According to Queen, when McRae and Wills argued, it was usually about sports, specifically “a quarterback controversy.”

“What this evidence clearly shows… Is that Mr. McRae went to (the apartment) to get high (and) walked in at the wrong time,” Queen said.

Closing statements concluded on July 12, three weeks after the trial began on June 19.

The co-defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 14.

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