Guilty Verdicts in South Capitol Street Shootings Trial

Jurors have been deliberating since April 19

A stream of guilty verdicts were announced Monday in the trial of five men accused in one of the deadliest shootings in Washington in years -- a shooting that prosecutors say started with an argument over costume jewelry.

Jurors announced Monday morning that they had reached a decision, and soon after, the guilty verdicts were read. 

The jury foreman said the word "guilty" more than 150 times in a verdict that took half an hour to read.

"It won't bring my son back, but I know that these boys won't be on the street to do this to nobody else," said the mother of one victim, who spoke to reporters in a shaking voice.

Four of the five defendants were found guilty of first-degree murder, and the fifth was found guilty of second-degree murder, NBC4's Pat Collins reported: 

  • Orlando Carter, 22, was the apparent ringleader. He was found guilty of five counts of first-degree murder, nine counts of assault with intent to kill, and 36 other felonies.
  • His brother, Sanquan Carter, 21, was found guilty of first-degree murder, assault with intent to kill and 13 other felonies.
  • Jeffrey D. Best, 23, was found guilty of five counts of first-degree murder, nine counts of assault with intent to kill, and 33 other felonies.
  • Robert Bost, 23, was found guilty of four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to kill, and 23 other felonies.
  • The fifth defendant, Lamar Williams, 23, who supplied some of the guns, was found guilty of three counts of second-degree murder and 25 other felonies.

Jurors had been deliberating since April 19, more than eight weeks after the trial began. 

"It's just horrendous, and I feel for the families of the victims," said one juror.

Another said, "I think the nature of this crime was particularly horrific. It definitely was a situation that all of us took extremely seriously.... I don't think anyone is ever prepared to see what we were exposed to."

When the case began in late February, prosecutors said the violence in which five people died in 2010 began over a missing piece of costume jewelry, a cheap bracelet encrusted with fake diamonds.

On the final day of the trial, a government lawyer held up the bracelet as part of his closing argument and spoke to the jury, with guns and bullets used in the shootings arrayed in front of him.

The five deaths happened as part of three separate shootings on two different days in March 2010. Nine others were wounded.

The relatives of some of the victims said Monday they felt a great sense of justice.

"To hear the verdicts read, you have some relief that these guys, these evil young men, will never be on the street to harm anyone, anyone, again," said one family member.

Last week, the judge in the case denied a request for a mistrial after one of the jurors asked to step down because she felt pressure from other jurors to change her view.

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