Defense Attorneys says Prosecutors Twisted the Truth in Closing Argument

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On May 22, Jonathan Zucker, defense attorney for Gregory Taylor, accused prosecutors of twisting the truth in a manner that would force his client to be involved in the case without his actual involvement. 

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 10-year-old Makiyah Wilson’s death. The shooting happened on the 300 block of 53rd Street, NE on July 16, 2018. 

Zucker argued that during the three-month trial, no witness ever said Taylor asked someone to shoot another individual, shot someone himself, or even conspired with the other defendants to commit the crimes he’s charged with.

He also insinuated that the prosecutors pandered to the jury’s fear and potential bias to cover the lack of evidence for this case. He insisted they presented overwhelmingly violent information  and portrayed Taylor as a thug to get them to sympathize with the loss of Makiyah, even though Taylor was never involved. 

“Are they after the truth, or just a conviction?,” he said. 

Zucker also asked the jury to think of the implicit biases they may have prior to deliberations beginning, arguing that bias affects memory, and their memory is the only thing they can base their verdict on once trial has concluded. 

“The certainty with which [the prosecutors] presented their evidence should cause you concern,” he said, insisting that they have used evidence that would typically not be relevant to try to force the evidence they have to fit the crimes they are charging the defendants with. 

Due to time constraints, Zucker was unable to finish his closing arguments. 

Parties are expected back May 25.

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