As Trial Begins for Homicide Case, Judge Dismisses Juror  

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Shortly after a homicide trial began on Sept. 7, a juror informed DC Superior Court Judge Rainey Brandt that she and the defendant were distantly related. Since the relation created a conflict of interest, the juror was dismissed.

Edward Brown, 61, is charged with the robbery of a senior citizen while armed, as well as two counts of first-degree murder in connection to the murder of  71-year-old Michael Mahoney on Feb. 5, 2018 at the Garfield Terrace Apartments located on the 2300 block of 11th Street, NW.

Supervisors at Mahoney’s senior living facility found him dead in his apartment, lying in a large pool of dried blood. His radio was playing music at full volume, according to court documents. 

During opening arguments, the prosecution emphasized how much Mahoney valued his home and his friends, including Brown.

The prosecutor said Mahoney and Brown had a private conflict, which culminated in Brown fatally stabbing Mahoney several times and stealing $600 in social security money, which Mahoney had withdrawn earlier that day. 

As part of the prosecution’s argument, counsel introduced several pieces of evidence, such as surveillance footage showing Brown entering and exiting the apartment complex two days before Mahoney was found dead and after the victim was last seen.

Parts of the outfit Brown was wearing in the footage later tested positive for blood in a forensic examination, said the prosecutor. 

 The prosecution also called in four witnesses Wednesday to testify. The first, an officer who had been called to the scene, recalled that he initially presumed Mahoney’s death to be of natural causes.

He explained that every previous death he had encountered at Garfield Terrace was of the same sort. The officer then admitted to emptying the contents of Mahoney’s wallet in order to identify him and help out the detective.

“I never thought this would be a criminal homicide case,” said the officer.

Defense Attorney Gemma Stevens said Brown should not be found guilty of the armed robbery nor the murder of Mahoney, discounting the prosecution’s use of surveillance footage. None of it distinctly showed Brown approaching or leaving Mahoney’s apartment, she said. 

Stevens added that no one actually witnessed Brown holding a knife. She added that there were opportunities for several other house guests to have tampered with Brown’s clothing prior to it being tested for forensic evidence.

Mahoney’s two daughters were called to testify. Each described Mahoney as a generous, fun-loving, and devoted father who always kept his apartment neat and organized. Neither reported Mahoney ever asking them for money, nor expressing financial concerns. 

A maintenance supervisor at Garfield Terrace recounted the day he first discovered Mahoney lying dead on the floor of his apartment.

Having felt concern for Mahoney’s well-being after receiving no response to his multiple knocks on the victim’s door, the supervisor said he used a copy of Mahoney’s keys to enter his apartment. In order to enter, he said he recalled needing to turn the key twice, which indicated that the door was unlocked.

During the cross-examination, the supervisor told defense attorney Kevin Mosley that he had not received any noise complaints from Mahoney’s apartment during the days surrounding his death. He also admitted he didn’t know whether any of the complex’s cameras were working that day.

The supervisor reported a history of safety concerns within the building, saying many strangers used alternate entrances to evade security to enter the building. The supervisor explained that the strangers would “take advantage” of the tenants by selling them drugs. 

 The jury was shown several photographs of bloodstains on the carpet and walls of Mahoney’s apartment. Photos of the victim’s bedroom, showed a room in disarray with Mahoney’s papers, money and cards scattered all over his bed.

Judge Brandt scheduled the trial to resume on Sept. 9. 

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