Victim Tested Positive For PCP, Medical Examiner Says

On April 2, the chief medical examiner of the District of Columbia testified that a murder  victim tested positive for PCP, a mind-altering drug.

Andre Becton is charged with first-degree  murder while armed and two gun-related offenses for allegedly shooting 35-year-old Darnell Peoples  on the 600 block of Mellon Street, SE in 2016. 

While the prosecution didn’t deny that Peoples had PCP in his system, counsel said the presence of PCP doesn’t determine Peoples’ behavior before his death.

To provide more information on Peoples’ behavior at the time of the murder, defense counsel called an expert on pharmacology and drug effects to testify about the effects that PCP has on individuals.

The expert said PCP users often experience agitation, aggressive behavior, and a loss of pain and feeling. However, during cross examination, a prosecutor also pointed out that PCP can have other effects, such as tranquility and sedation, depending on the user and their environmental factors to which the expert agreed. 

D.C. Witness previously reported that a witness who bought drugs from Peoples said she never saw Peoples angry while on drugs. The witness also said that Peoples was being “loving” towards people around him shortly before his death.

According to the defense’s theory, Becton shot Peoples in self-defense. However, the prosecution presented evidence on April 1 that refuted the claim. Surveillance footage from an interview Becton had with police showed him telling a detective that he did not shoot Peoples in self defense.

The trial is scheduled to continue with closing arguments on April 3.

Alex Friedrich contributed to this article