Was a 2015 homicide self defense or premeditated?

Was a late morning homicide in Ward 3 spurred by self defense or premeditated?

Kevin Chase and Demetrious Brandon are charged with first-degree murder while armed and possession of a firearm during a crime of violence in the alleged fatal shooting of Marcus Manor on the 2900 block of Sherman Avenue, NW on Oct. 20, 2015. Chase is also being charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, carrying a pistol without a license and assault with significant bodily injury. Brandon is also being charged with accessory after the fact for an assault with the intent to kill while armed. The murder trial began on Feb. 12 and is expected to continue until March 5.

On Feb. 13, the prosecution presenting Manor, who was 38 at the time of his death, as a father of two sons and a daughter. The prosecution said Manor, who was involved in a romantic relationship with Chase’s sister since the Spring of 2015, only went to her residence to get her back.

The prosecution admitted the relationship between the sister and Manor was violent, but said the two also shared moments of love. According to the prosecution, when the sister finally kicked Manor out of her apartment, she did not want to take him back, but Manor kept trying. So, Chase, 30, planned to take care of his sister’s problem indefinitely and called Brandon, 30. The two planned the homicide, the prosecution said.

Depicting Chase’s ill will towards Manor, the prosecution also cited an assault on Oct. 16, 2015, where Chase broke Manor’s nose and cheek bone.

However, Chase’s attorney, Kevann Gardner, depicted a very different picture during the defense’s opening statements.

The defense argued the homicide was not a crime; it was self defense. “He is going to kill me,”Gardner said, referencing Chase’s thoughts in the seconds before the shooting.

According to Gardner, Manor, who was allegedly known as “killer” on the streets, put Chase in a predicament where it was either shoot or be killed.

“None of us should have to find ourselves in the place Kevin Chase found himself on that day,” Garner said. He said Chase only protected himself, which is what the law allows.

James Williams, Brandon’s attorney, added that Brandon didn’t know about the relationship between Manor and Chase’s sister nor was he holding a gun. Williams said, Brandon was only at the residence to visit with his longtime friend.

Throughout the rest of the day, the prosecution called seven witnesses, the younger brother of Manor, two Metropolitan Police Department officers and one detective, three area residents and a technician from the D.C. Department of Forensic Science.

Manor’s brother supplied the jury with biographical information about the decedent and emotionally identified him on a poster in the courtroom. The officers and technician discussed their actions while on the crime scene that day and the residents, who were in the area during the time of the shooting, told the jury what they saw after hearing the gunshots.

One resident said he saw a black man holding a gun with two hands facing a black truck, which was identified as a Ford Explorer. Later, that same resident saw a thin black man get into a car at a gas station on the corner of Sherman Avenue, NW and Harvard Street, NW. Another resident said she saw a thin black man running southward on Sherman Avenue, NW after the shooting with a four door sedan following behind him.

In addition to the testimonies, the prosecution also submitted numerous photo exhibits and two 911 calls into evidence.