Homicide Trial Delayed Due to Defendant’s ‘Illness’

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A homicide conspiracy trial was postponed after a defendant failed to appear before DC Superior Court Judge Robert Okun on July 8 due to “an illness,” according to US Marshals. 

Mark Price, 29, and Antonio Murchison, 31, are charged with first-degree murder while armed, five counts of assault with intent to kill while armed, aggravated assault knowingly while armed, seven counts of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, conspiracy, and seven counts of criminal gang affiliation. The charges stem from their alleged involvement in a mass shooting on July 16, 2018, on the 5300 block of 53rd Street, NE in the Clay Terrace neighborhood. The incident left 10-year-old Makiyah Wilson dead and four other individuals with gunshot wounds. 

Judge Okun delayed the trial after Murchison refused to leave his jail cell, claiming he was not feeling well. A representative from the Department of Corrections (DOC) confirmed his failure to appear was due to stomach issues

The prosecution expressed frustration, stating this was a delay tactic due to their intent to call a material witness. 

Prosecutors claimed Murchison and Price orchestrated their multiple failures to appear, citing a phone call from the jail between Price and a loved one, where he said he faked an illness to miss his hearing on June 11. The prosecutor claimed the defendants have been orchestrating ways to delay trial. 

“Of course he refuses, he got the playbook,” the prosecutor said, insisting Murchison was copying Price’s earlier refusal to appear, which allowed Murchison to observe the parties’ discussions on how to proceed. 

The trial is set to resume on July 9.

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