Judge Says Evidence Shows Murder Defendant Needs to be Held in Jail

A murder defendant, who is claiming self defense, is being held without bond based on visual evidence.

Tony Antonie McClam, 29,  is charged with first-degree murder while armed for allegedly shooting 11-year-old Karon Brown on the 2700 block of Naylor Road, SE on July 18. McClam was orginially charge with second-degree murder by officers from the Metropolitan Police Department. On July 24, DC Superior Courts Magistrate Judge Renee Ryamond increased the charge.

On Sept. 4, D.C. Superior Court Judge Craig Iscoe found probable cause with substantial probability that McClam could have committed the crime. Judge Iscoe held McClam because he said he believed the defendant “wouldn’t follow conditions of release” because of previous criminal charges in two other states, including Virginia. 

Defense attorney, James King, said his client acted in self defense because McClam thought the driver of the Nissan Sentra was reaching for a weapon.

King also said McClam carried a handgun around for protection because his brother was a victim of a gun-related murder in 2015. Apparently, McClam believed the people who killed his brother were still at-large and looking to kill him.

According to court documents, a witness also told police that he saw McClam with a gun on multiple occasions. However, that witness told police that he never saw McClam fire the gun. 

Additionally, surveillance video showed smoke coming from a gun that McClam was allegedly pointing at the Nissan as it started driving away. 

King said bullets are fired faster than smoke appears, therefore it is unclear if the smoke shown in the video was at the exact time the gun was fired. Additionally, King said McClam did not know Brown was in the car, saying he has a glass eye and therefore couldn’t see that well. 

Despite McClam’s glass eye, the prosecution said he would have been able to see inside the car because the windows were not tinted. 

The prosecution argued that if the gun was fired while the car was stopped, then the bullet holes would be located on the side of the car instead of the trunk. Therefore, the prosecutor said he believes McClam was not acting in self defense.

Court documents state that two rounds went through the trunk and struck Brown in the back.

A felon status conference is scheduled on Oct. 3.