Pat Collins, Bill Hennessy
One of the alleged gunmen in one of the deadliest street crimes in D.C. history testified against his friends Wednesday. (Courtroom sketches by Bill Hennessy.)
One of the alleged gunmen in one of the deadliest street crimes in D.C. history testified against his friends Wednesday.
Nathaniel Simms said he was one of the shooters in the March 2010 multiple-shooting that killed four people and injured several others.
“I knew what we did was wrong,” Simms said in court Wednesday. “Every night I would think about it. I want to do what is right.”
Simms said he hung out with the defendants, went clubbing with them and killed with them.
In a blue prison jump suit and restrained by heavy prison chains, Simms took the stand, took the oath and identified the five men linked to the bloody crime spree in which a total of five people were killed and nine wounded in eight days – a spree that started with a dispute over a missing fake diamond bracelet and resulted in the mass shooting on South Capitol Street SE.
“I know I played a major part of what was done,” Simms said. “I expect to spend the majority, if not the rest of my life, in jail.”
“Even though he’s turning state’s evidence, he’s just still even,” said Diane How, the mother of a victim.
Also Wednesday, the jury saw an AK-47 used in the murders for the first time. Relatives of the victims broke down in tears.
“It left me kind of speechless to see such a massive weapon that destroyed a lot of lives,” said Norman Williams, the father of a victim. “That was very painful to even look at that.”