Closing Arguments Begin in Three-Month Long Homicide Trial 

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On May 16, prosecutors in a child homicide and conspiracy trial began their closing arguments following an emotional three months in court. 

Gregory Taylor, 27, Quentin Michals, 25, Qujuan Thomas, 24, Darrise Jeffers, 23, Isaiah Murchison, 22, 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 10-year-old Makiyah Wilson’s death. The shooting happened on the 300 block of 53rd Street, NE on July 16, 2018. 

Following technical issues that delayed closing arguments, prosecutors were able to make their case to the jury.

“Twenty seconds, fifty gunshots, four gunmen, and one driver,” prosecutors said, is all it took for a neighborhood to be changed forever. 

According to court documents, the attack on the Clay Terrace community was in retaliation for  various shootings and incidents that occurred between that contingent and those in the Wellington Park neighborhood, which began in 2017. 

The defendants would allegedly discuss the shootings with their co-defendants and friends who  participated through social media, and would share videos that the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) created and posted on Youtube seeking the public’s assistance with the investigations into the incidents.

The mode of operation for every shooting was the same, according to prosecutors. The suspects would arm themselves, get in a car with a designated driver, show up in a rival neighborhood, get out, fire several gunshots into a courtyard or common area, and speed away from the crime scene. This pattern occurred many times between 2017 and 2018, prosecutors say. 

The group would then take to social media to brag about their actions and show rival gangs that they were proud of their actions, prosecutors said. 

At some point in December 2017, Michals was shot at a club after having a disagreement with a woman from the Clay Terrace neighborhood, who sent various Clay Terrace men to Michals to get him to leave her alone. 

Prosecutors stated that defendant Isaiah Murchison, his older brother Antonio, Thomas, and Taylor all got into a car driven by Mark Price and went to Clay Terrace, where they injured four and killed Makiyah. 

According to prosecutors, Michals had been shot in two different incidents within six months before the July 16, 2018 attack, which is  why he was not one of the individuals in the car on the day of the shooting. 

“He couldn’t run due to his leg injuries,” prosecutors said. So, he waited at the Wellington Park neighborhood for his associates to return from their retaliation, after he helped them arm themselves with weapons and acquire the black Infiniti sedan used in the attack. 

“[Makiyah’s sister’s] arm wound healed, but the loss of her sister is still with her,” prosecutors said. 

According to prosecutors, the six defendants are not just being charged for the attack on July 16, 2018 that destroyed Makiyah’s heart, but are also being charged for actions leading up to the attack, which included purchasing stolen vehicles, planning shootings of rival gang members, and purchasing an arsenal of guns and ammunition, among others. 

Prosecutors are expected to continue their closing arguments on May 17.

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