Opening Statements Delivered in 2018 Homicide trial

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On Nov.15, opening statements and witness testimony were presented in a homicide trial before DC Superior Court Judge Rainey Brandt

Marquette Jordan, 32, is charged with second-degree murder while armed, assault, and carrying a dangerous weapon outside of a home or business with a prior felony for his alleged involvement in an April 30, 2018 stabbing homicide of 40-year-old Ivan Lynch on the 900 block of Fifth Street, SE. 

According to prosecutors, Jordan yelled “B*tch, I’m gonna kill you too” to his girlfriend, right after he stabbed and killed Lynch.

The prosecution explained that on April 30, 2018, Lynch was celebrating his birthday at a cookout with several people, including Jordan. At the cookout, according to the prosecutors, there was a fight between Jordan and his girlfriend at the time, which began to turn physical. The prosecution claimed that in order to diffuse the fight, Lynch stepped in to intervene and defend Jordan’s girlfriend. 

After intervening, according to the prosecution, Jordan shouted “you want a piece of this!” at Lynch, shifting his anger from his girlfriend onto Lynch. The prosecution then claimed that Jordan’s girlfriend will testify that after this encounter, she saw Jordan grab a butcher knife and stab Lynch multiple times. 

The prosecution further explained that after Lynch had been stabbed, Jordan proceeded to threaten his girlfriend while still holding the knife. According to the prosecutors, after Jordan threatened her, his girlfriend grabbed a couch cushion to protect herself, and eventually ran out of the apartment. The prosecution exclaimed that after running out of the apartment, Jordan’s girlfriend hid under a car for several hours in fear of Jordan.

The prosecution also explained that due to running out of the apartment in great fear, Jordan’s girlfriend left her young children in the apartment, who had also been at the cookout that day. According to the prosecution, after searching Lynch’s body and taking items like his wallet, Jordan left the apartment, taking his girlfriend’s children with him.

According to the prosecutors, as police were arriving on the scene, Jordan hat he had multiple different stories to explain the blood on his clothing.

According to the prosecutors, following the murder, Jordan mailed Lynch’s wallet to his father with a return address to an  elementary school that was in the area near the location of the stabbing.

In conclusion the prosecution said, “Ivan Lynch on April 30, 2018 should have been celebrating his birthday”, and claimed that instead that day will always mark his death. 

During their opening, Jordan’s defense attorney, Camille Wagner, claimed that “this case is filled with inconsistencies”. She asked the jury to “render the only correct verdict of not guilty”. She said there are several different versions of what actually happened that night, and that witness testimony will prove it.

Wagner then referenced the fight between Jordan and Lynch, claiming that Lynch was significantly larger than Jordan. She argued that Lynch had Jordan “locked in”, and that Jordan was “rendered defenseless.”

She further argued the reason Jordan left with his girlfriend’s children, is because their mother had left them alone. She explained that Jordan was the individual acting normally after Lynch was stabbed, and that he had not left the apartment in any sort of panic.

Wagner explained that Lynch’s friend took ten minutes to call 911. Additionally, she said that when the police arrived, that friend was the only person that was still there, and that there were bounty paper towels and smeared blood next to Lynch’s body. She also claimed that Lynch’s friend was only cooperative with the police after he was threatened with an arrest. “Ask yourself why?” Wagner exclaimed.

Additionally, Wagner pointed out that no murder weapon was ever found. “You won’t see one. There isn’t one,” she said.

Wagner finished her opening statement by saying, “No one deserves this. But your job is to figure out who is responsible”. She closed saying, “I submit to you that the facts of this case, or lack thereof, will leave you with lots of doubt”. 

The prosecution called a supervisor with the Office of Unified Communications (OUC) who said that there were two 911 calls that came in for this incident and one caller refused to give her name and stayed anonymous. 

The prosecution also called an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) who was the responding officer the night of the incident and testified that he saw Jordan leaving the apartment area with two children. He stated that Jordan was calmly walking away from the building and at that time he had no reason to suspect him. 

However, officer stated that after seeing Lynch’s bod lying on the ground with no sign of life and talking with Lynch’s friend a family member of Lynch who was also in the apartment, he sent out a description of Jordan who was stopped a half a block away for questioning. 

Trial is set to resume Nov. 16 to continue witness testimony. 

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