Prosecution Focuses on Defendant’s Actions During Opening Statements

The prosecution’s opening statement during a murder trial Sept. 14 linked a 57-year-old defendant to the murder of his girlfriend.

Darnell Sterling is charged with the second-degree murder and contempt for violating a stay-away order in connection to the murder of Olga Ooro, 34, on July 17, 2020, on the 300 block of Massachusetts Avenue, NW.

During opening arguments, the prosecution noted Sterling’s actions before and following the murder, showing how his statements to police didn’t reflect his actions.

On July 16, 2020, Sterling, Ooro, and the Ooro’s child went to dinner at the Navy Yard. They returned to Ooro’s apartment around midnight. According to the prosecution, Sterling changed into different clothing and left in his father’s Volkswagen. 

Sterling changed his clothes twice more the same day before driving to Ocean City, Maryland.

While Sterling was supposed to be in Ocean City, he returned to Ooro’s apartment with a utility dolly and a large piece of fabric. He used Ooro’s key to get in and out of the building, said the prosecutor. 

Sterling is seen loading a bundle of fabric into his vehicle and then drove across the Bay Bridge. He returned to DC. 

However, when interviewed by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Sterling said he left Ooro’s apartment after an argument the night she was last seen. 

Defense attorney Howard McEachern said this case was not a homicide, but a missing persons case. He said Ooro’s body was never found. He continued to say there was no evidence of a crime at the apartment to support the charges.

DC Superior Court Judge Maribeth Raffinan scheduled the trial to resume on Sept. 15.