Both Sides Rest in Homicide Trial

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On July 8, the prosecution and defense rested after five days of a homicide trial before DC Superior Court Judge Anthony Epstein

Vernon Parrish, 40, is charged with first-degree murder while armed, assault with a dangerous weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm, and two counts of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence. The charges stem from his alleged involvement in the fatal shooting of Ronald Bailey, 52, which occurred in a residence on Sept. 26, 2021, on the 5200 block of E Street, SE. 

According to prosecutors, Parrish was accompanied by an individual, who they identified as Adrian Tate. However, Tate was never charged in connection to the incident. According to a motion filed by the prosecution, Tate died 15 months after the homicide. 

On the final day of trial, the lead Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) homicide detective, who arrested Parrish, said he found a revolver in the bottom drawer of Bailey’s bedside table.  The pistol had two empty cartridges and four that were unfired. 

There was no blood found on or near the revolver, which the detective said was of note because Bailey had been bleeding. 

The detective, when cross examined by Parrish’s attorney, Nikki Lotze, stated that the greenish Lexus that was connected to Tate and the shooting could not be found. 

Lotze questioned if there was any bullet damage to the Lexus, however, the detective was unsure as he was only able to see one side of the vehicle from surveillance footage. The side he could see did not appear to be damaged, he said. 

During the trial, a crime scene scientist and a forensic firearm analyst said that a few of the nine suspected bullet holes in Baily’s home, based on trajectory rods, had a slight eastward angle.  

The firearm analyst suggested that three of the cartridge casings found outside of Baily’s home were consistent with having been fired from the same weapon. The analyst said that due to the size of the casings, a larger gun needed to have been used. Likely the sizing would fit into an AR-15 or a longer barrel handgun with an extended magazine. 

A private investigator for the defense reiterated that Parrish does not match the shooter’s description. 

In a motions hearing held on July 5, Judge Epstein ruled that there would be no admittance of Parrish’s jail calls, in which he conversed with his girlfriend. Judge Epstein concluded that any limited probative value was significantly outweighed by the risk of prejudice towards the jury. 

Final jury instructions and closing statements are scheduled to occur on July 9. 

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