Jurors Find 2018 Homicide Defendant Guilty

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After deliberating for two days, jurors found a homicide defendant guilty.

Malik Holston, 20, was initially indicted in 2019 for first-degree murder while armed with the murder being especially heinous, possesion of a firearm during a crime of violence and carrying a pistol without a license outside of a home or place of business  in connection to the shooting death of 15-year-old Gerald Watson on the 2900 block of Knox Place, SE on Dec. 13, 2018. 

The jury came back with the verdict on Nov. 2 for first-degree murder while armed, possession of a firearm during crime of violence and carrying a pistol without a license.

Before the verdict, the jury sent DC Superior Court Judge Rainey Brandt a note, “What happens if we can reach an agreement on all counts except aggravating circumstances?” 

Holston’s defense attorney, Shawn Sukumar, referred to the 2011 Jones v. United States case that states, “A partial verdict should be accepted when it is offered.” 

“You would be instructed to continue deliberating on any issues of disagreement,” the judge sent back to the jury. All parties agreed on this response.  

However, on the aggravating circumstance charge, the jury could not reach a decision. 

After the jury was discharged, Judge Brandt left to go thank the jury in person. When she came back, Judge Brandt said this trial affected the jury, and that several of the jurors were brought to tears. 

“Keep a positive outlook,” Judge Brandt’s told Holston.

A sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 26, 2023.  

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