Trial Review: Jury Finds Murder Defendant Guilty

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After deliberating for two days, a jury found a man guilty of two murders. 

Devaun Drayton

Terik McLeod was found guilty of second-degree murder while armed for shooting Devaun Drayton, 17, on the 700 block of 26th Street, NE in 2004. McLeod, 33, was also found guilty of first-degree murder while armed with aggravating circumstances for shooting Carlton Fisher, 23, on the 1100 block of 21st Street, NE in 2006. This was the second time McLeod has been tried for the two murders. The first trial resulted in a hung jury after nearly two weeks of jury deliberations.

Carlton Fisher

On July 9, the defense’s witness, a former friend of McLeod, who was present at Drayton’s murder, told the jury he killed the 17 year old over a stolen gun. 

The witness said he gave Drayton a gun because he was in a conflict with people from the Trinidad neighborhood in Northeast, DC. Apparently, Drayton was given the gun under the condition that he would return it the next day. 

However, Drayton apparently said he lost the gun in a shootout.

The witness said, Drayton broke a “street code” that includes not stealing other people’s belongings. The witness said he was going to sell the gun to McLeod.

Drayton apparently replaced the stolen gun with a .357 Magnum revolver, according to the witness. 

According to the prosecution, Drayton was murdered because he stole a gun, lied about it, and didn’t give it back. 

A Metropolitan Police Department detective testified that the man who gave Drayton the gun was reluctant to give information to the police. Apparently, the witness told the detective that “Terik” shot Drayton. He also gave the police McLeod’s address. 

There was “no doubt in my mind” that McLeod killed Drayton, the witness initially told police. 

During closing arguments, the prosecutor told the jury that the witness, who confessed to killing Drayton, was trying to “take the body” for McLeod as retribution for “snitching” on him.

“Taking a body” refers to confessing to a murder that someone else committed in order to boost or repair a damaged reputation. 

During the police’s investigation of Drayton’s murder, a detective said Fisher also provided additional information to the 17-year-old’s homicide.

According to the detective, McLeod asked Fisher for .357 caliber bullets days before Drayton’s murder. McLeod also told Fisher that he killed Drayton.

A medical examiner for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of the District of Columbia said the bullet that killed Drayton was compatible with a .357 revolver. It is unclear how McLeod came into possession of a .357 revolver. 

According to the prosecution, McLeod killed Fisher because he snitched on him.  

On the night of Fisher’s murder, there was a block party in Vietnam court, a specific group of buildings on 21st Street, NE. Multiple witnesses said McLeod was seen with another individual, who became a second suspect in Fisher’s murder. The second suspect is now dead.

Fisher had seven gunshot wounds, one in his head and six in his back. The medical examiner, who also performed an autopsy on Drayton’s body, said the gunshot wound on Fisher’s head was in the exact same location as the gunshot wound on Drayton’s head.  

DNA testing came back inconclusive on evidence from Fisher’s murder scene. 

Firearms evidence also came back inconclusive.

While a firearms expert said the bullets fired were compatible with the murder weapon, he was unable to make a direct link between the bullets and the .357 revolver. 

The firearms expert also confirmed that two guns were used in Fisher’s murder. A second gun was not recovered. 

McLeod was trying to send a message by killing Fisher. “If you snitch on me, I’m going to kill you on your front porch, with your mother, sister and baby girl inside,” the prosecutor told the jury.  

Jury deliberations began on July 24 after more than two weeks of trial. 

McLeod is scheduled for sentencing on Oct. 25.


Annie Brennan contributed to this article. 

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