Prosecutors End Closing Arguments in Six Defendant Homicide Trial 

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On May 17, prosecutors in a child homicide and conspiracy trial ended their closing arguments following an emotional three month proceeding in court. 

Gregory Taylor, 27, Quentin Michals, 25, Qujuan Thomas, 24, Darrise Jeffers, 23, Isaiah Murchison, 23, and Marquell Cobbs, 21, are six of 10 defendants charged with first-degree murder, criminal street gang affiliation, conspiracy, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, assault with intent to kill, and other charges regarding a fatal drive-by shooting that resulted in 10-year-old Makiyah Wilson’s death. The shooting happened on the 300 block of 53rd Street, NE on July 16, 2018. 

The defendants are alleged to belong to what’s known as the Wellington Park Crew, which prosecutors argue is a criminal street gang whose purpose is to commit crimes throughout the city. 

Prosecutors guided the jury through the days leading up to the shooting. According to prosecutors, a week before the shooting, a rival of the Wellington Park Crew posted a music video on YouTube surrounded by kids from the Clay Terrace community. Among them, Makiyah, who was pictured wearing the same pink shirt she wore the day she was murdered. 

In the hours leading up to the shooting, prosecutors say, all six defendants and other individuals charged with the attack were seen gathering in the Wellington Park neighborhood. Their preparations included getting clothing, gloves, and masks that would allegedly protect their identities, acquiring a rifle, and double checking that no one was around their vehicles when they were ready to commit the crime. 

Surveillance videos of the preparations at the Wellington Park neighborhood and the attack in Clay Terrace were shown to the jury, along with images of Makiyah and other victims’ who survived their injuries. 

According to the prosecutors, the defendants could not wait to brag about the attacks on social media because, an hour after the attack, they were posting videos of themselves celebrating, rapping and dancing in the Wellington Park parking lot. 

“We the real reason why the murder rate high,” they sang in videos posted to Jeffers’ and Michals’ Instagram accounts. 

They were careless, prosecutors said, as they left gloves, with their DNA, in the vehicle used for the attack, which was later disposed of in Maryland. 

Thomas, they said, even discussed the attack with Quincy Garvin, 23, who was convicted of the murder of 24-year-old Carl Hardy that occurred in September 2017 and charged as a co-defendant in the Makiyah murder. In the phone calls, Thomas can be heard identifying the individuals that were in the car for the attack, stating that Taylor, Isaiah, Antonio Murchison, 30,  and himself were the ones that went through with it. 

“They didn’t give a darn who they hit, they just wanted to open fire,” prosecutors said of the attack. 

Prosecutors insisted to the jury that the defendants spelled out everything they were doing leading up to the attack, during it, and everything they did after. 

“It is time they have a judgment day for their stupid idiocy,” the prosecution said. “It is time to hold them accountable for taking away that little girl from her family and friends.” 

Parties are expected back May 18 to begin the defense’s closing arguments. 

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