Informant Key in Brutal Capitol Hill Beating Trial

An inside informant is playing a key role in a brutal Capitol Hill beating trial.

One of three suspects accused of beating and robbing Thomas Maslin went on trial Wednesday, and prosecutors have important information from one of the other men accused in the attack.

Maslin was nearly beaten to death in August while walking home after leaving the Tune Inn after midnight Aug. 18. Before 1 a.m., someone tried to use his credit card at an Exxon station.

A passerby found Maslin on the porch of a house in the 700 block of North Carolina Avenue about 8:30 a.m., about eight hours after the attack.

Prosecutors say that before the beating, one of the suspects, 22-year-old Tommy Branch, asked the others, “Do you want to make a quick move?” – street slang for suggesting they rob someone – as they sat in a car in an alley near Eastern Market.

One of the robbers had a BB gun that looked like the real thing, prosecutors said, and Branch had an aluminum baseball bat. Maslin put his hands in the air and the robbers took his iPhone, keys and credit card, prosecutors said. The man with the BB gun hit Maslin, and Branch hit Maslin in the head with the bat, according to the prosecution.

The jury saw pictures of Maslin from the hospital and heard from his doctor, who said Maslin’s skull was shattered into multiple pieces.

Maslin will never fully recover, the doctor testified. 

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