Victim Wasn’t Killed in Self-Defense, Eyewitness Says

During a trial March 28, an eyewitness refuted the defenses theory and said a murder defendant did not shoot a victim in self-defense.

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

The witness told the jury she was on Mellon Street trying to buy crack-cocaine the night Peoples died. According to the witness, Peoples initially approached Becton in a friendly manner, attempting to “to hug him.” It was then that Becton, 27, allegedly shot Peoples.

The witness, who knew the victim as both her friend and part-time drug dealer, said Peoples was being “loving” the night he was killed. Furthermore, she said she had never seen him angry while high on drugs.

The defense, however, questioned the witness’s sobriety during the time of the shooting.

The witness said she was sober during the time of the murder. However, defense attorney Jeffrey Stein said the witness had initially told detectives that she smoked crack and drink alcohol before the murder.

During opening arguments, the defense also told the jury that the witness was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and that the diagnoses were going untreated.

D.C. Witness previously reported that the defense said Peoples was high on PCP, a mind altering drug, and was being “aggressive.” The defense said Becton shot Peoples out of self-defense.

The trial is scheduled to continue on April 1.