A man has been found guilty in the death of his uncle, after prosecutors say he ordered the hit from jail to prevent the uncle from testifying in a double murder trial.
Prosecutors say Brian Mayhew ordered two other men, Stanley Winston and Anthony Cannon, to kill his uncle Nicoh Mayhew.
All three men were convicted Thursday on 45 counts, including first-degree murder, for the December 2012 killing.
"We hope that it sends the message out to everyone that witness intimidation as a strategy will never work," Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said.
This was the men's second trial. A jury could not reach a verdict in the first trial, which ended in July.
Before he was killed, Nicoh Mayhew had been set to testify against his nephew, who was charged with the 2011 murders of Anthony McKelvin and Sean Ellis.
Nicoh Mayhew told a grand jury that his nephew and friend Kenan Myers shot and killed two men in 2011. But before he could testify in the actual trial, Nicoh was killed and his 2-year-old son was injured in a shooting outside his mother's Seat Pleasant apartment in 2012.
Brian Mayhew ordered the hit on his uncle while he was locked up in Prince George's County jail, prosecutors said.
Since then, Mayhew has been convicted in the 2011 murders and is serving life in prison for them.
Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information
The 2012 hit on his uncle was carried out via a series of security loopholes commonly used by inmates, according to court testimony. Brian Mayhew allegedly had a girlfriend outside the jail set up Google Voice numbers, and he used another inmate's telephone ID to communicate with two hit men, prosecutors said.
In one call, Brian Mayhew is heard expressing love to his uncle. But hours later, he's heard describing how he wants the hit to go.
In another call, he told a co-defendant to expect Nicoh Mayhew's son to be there.
The defense maintained that Nicoh was a drug dealer with a lot of enemies, and even with the recorded jail calls and video of people running to kill Mayhew, the state has no real physical evidence, only circumstantial, which may be what led to the hung jury last July.
Security was heightened throughout the second trial. Mayhew and his co-defendants were housed in isolation at the Prince George's County jail and were only allowed to communicate with their attorneys through monitored calls during the trial.
At the door to the courthouse, signs said no cellphones nor electronic devices were allowed inside the Mayhew courtroom. The actual courtroom had its own magnetometer and security procedures, additional sheriff's deputies, and security to lock and unlock the courtroom doors behind each person who enters.