Arguments in Trial for Murder of 10-Year-Old Makiyah Wilson Conclude 

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On May 24, the trial for the murder of 10-year-old Makiyah Wilson came to a close following more arguments from the defense and prosecutors’ rebuttal. 

Gregory Taylor, 27, Quentin Michals, 25, Qujuan Thomas, 24, Darrise Jeffers, 23, Isaiah Murchison, 23, and Marquell Cobbs, 21, are six of 10 defendants charged with first-degree murder, criminal street gang affiliation, conspiracy, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, assault with intent to kill, and other charges regarding a fatal drive-by shooting that resulted in Wilson’s death. The shooting happened on the 300 block of 53rd Street, NE on July 16, 2018. 

Phil Andonian, defense attorney for Jeffers, argued that prosecutors failed to meet the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Jeffers was guilty. 

“When considering the evidence, you don’t look at it through the lens of guilt that the [prosecutors] are asking you to use, but rather through the lens of innocence,” he said. 

Andonian argued that, because Jeffers was seen in the Wellington Park neighborhood at the time of the shooting, there is no reason why the jury should find him guilty of first-degree murder. 

As to Jeffers’ possessing guns, Andonian argued that it was a necessity, as Jeffers feared for his safety because he’d been in dangerous situations.

“It’s an unfortunate reality for Jeffers,” he stated, proclaiming that Jeffers’ goal was to protect himself if need be. 

“The only verdict consistent with justice that the law demands is not guilty,” he insisted. 

In their rebuttal, prosecutors argued that the evidence provided to the jury throughout the long and emotional trial proved each defendant was guilty of conspiring and committing the murder, whether they were the shooters or aiders and abetters. 

Prosecutors delved into each defendants’s actions that led to the charges. 

They argued that Thomas had identified the shooters during a phone call with 23-year-old Quincy Garvin

According to prosecutors, Thomas and Garvin had two phone calls on July 19 and 20, 2018 regarding the shooting at the Clay Terrace neighborhood. These phone calls were recorded while Garvin was incarcerated for another murder under DC Jail policy. 

During one of these phone calls, Garvin allegedly asked Thomas, in code, who had been in the vehicle and Thomas identified Isaiah and Antonio Murchison, 30, Taylor, and himself as the shooters. 

In another phone call, prosecutors said, Garvin told Thomas the vehicle allegedly used in the shooting had been located, and Thomas told him not to worry because gloves were used in an effort to remove any evidence.  

Prosecutors also argued that cell phone tower signals connected Michals’ and Thomas’ phones to the area where the suspect-vehicle was disposed on the night of the murder. 

“It is not your job to save these defendants’ lives–they made their decisions,” the prosecution argued. 

 “Hold us to our burden of proof and hold your oath as jurors,” said prosecutors to the jury.

“We’re asking you to convict them because they’re the ones who did it. It is time to hold them accountable,” they insisted. 

Jury deliberations are slated to begin May 25 and last for a few weeks. 

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