Trial Review: Family Dispute Turns Into Murder

After deliberating for one day, the jury found a man guilty of murdering his cousin.

Gary “Little Gary” Procter was found guilty of first-degree murder while armed, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, unlawful possession of firearm during a crime of violence, carrying a pistol outside a home or business and unlawful possession of ammunition for his alleged involvement in the death of his cousin, Jerome “Beanie” Diggs, 47. The crime occurred on the 1300 block of First Street, SW on July 27, 2015.

Even though the trial began on July 15, the jury wasn’t called in until July 22 due to several witness conflicts. Closing arguments occurred on July 31. 

The victim’s brother alluded to Proctor’s criminal history in his testimony on July 22, so defense attorney Steven Kiersh filed for a mistrial. Judge Dayna Dayson denied the motion because the witness did not give any context to Proctor’s alleged crime.

On that same day, the victim’s neighbor testified and said she heard gunshots. She told the court she waited a few minutes until she went outside and found Diggs with multiple gunshot wounds outside his back kitchen door.

She also said Diggs said it was “Little Gary” who shot him.

“I heard everything,” the neighbor said. “He was speaking so clear.” 

The victim’s sister also told the jury that Diggs called her on the day of the murder and told her that his cousin, Gary Proctor, had shot him. 

 He “felt like he wasn’t going to make it,” the sister said. 

Throughout the trial, several witnesses testified about a family barbecue that happened on July 11, 2015. The event turned violent after the defendant, his father and his uncle got into a physical altercation with the victim and his nephew.

According to a witness, Proctor wasn’t initially at the flight until his father called him. He allegedly showed up to the event with bats and sticks that they used to attack Diggs and his nephew.

The nephew was sent to the hospital, according to a witness. 

The mother of Diggs’ nephew was upset and began to send threatening texts to Proctor’s father accusing him of child molestation and kidnapping.

After several days, the defendant’s father filed a Civil Protection Order (CPO) against the victim’s sister. The court date is set on Aug. 3.

The victim’s sister said Diggs told her that both Proctor and his dad asked him to not to testify and even offered to pay him money. 

A gun has not been recovered, but investigators said the eight shell casings found in Diggs’ home could only be used with four types of guns. 

Security footage shows Proctor dropping off his cell phone at a mobile store the morning after the murder. Police found images of a Smith and Wesson, which is one of the possible types of guns that could have been used to kill Diggs, on the phone.

According to DC courts, the defense is expected to file a motion for a new trial by Oct. 1. A status hearing is scheduled on Nov. 1.