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Crime Scene
Posted at 12:50 PM ET, 07/25/2012

District men convicted of murder, manslaughter in deadly Benning Terrace gang shooting

One District man was convicted of murder and several others were convicted of lesser charges for their involvement in deadly gang confrontations in spring 2010 that left two dead and turned a Southeast Washington public housing complex into a war zone, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced Wednesday.

Kurtis Faison, 20, pleaded guilty to second degree murder of Melvin White, 27, who he believed was helping a rival gang, authorities said. Antonio Fortson, 21; Marcellus McCray, 18; and Timothy Parker, 34; were found guilty of manslaughter while armed in the death of a bystander, Antwan Buckner, 32, who was shot and killed during a confrontation between the gangs, authorities said. They said they also were convicted of other felony charges.

The jury announced the verdicts on Monday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

The convicted men are part of a gang called the Circle which operates near Benning Terrace housing complex, in a neighborhood known as “Simple City,” authorities said. They said the Circle crew feuded with another gang in the area, called the Avenue.

The gangs “shared a tiny patch of real estate in Benning Terrace” and “engaged in urban warfare that turned deadly,” U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. said in a statement in March.

Faison shot and killed White, 27, on April 10. Around the same time, two other Circle members also fired shots at people associated with the Avenue, authorities said.

On May 14, three members of the Avenue retaliated by opening fire on members of the Circle, authorities said. They said that prompted three Circle members to open fire on people gathered on the Avenue’s turf May 30.

Four members of the Avenue then went to the cul-de-sac and fired retaliatory shots, which sparked a gunfight, authorities said. They said six members of the Circle returned fire, killing Buckner.

The jury also returned a guilty verdict against Lamonte Henson, 20, from Upper Marlboro, Md., for illegal possession of a handgun, authorities said. They said another man, Lamont Thomas, 21, pleaded guilty to charges of assault with intent to kill and conspiracy to commit murder during the trial.

They are awaiting sentences, which will be delivered in September and October, officials said.

Other Circle members allegedly involved in Buckner’s shooting are set for trial in November, authorities said. Other Avenue members are set for trial in February 2013.

By Mihir Zaveri  |  12:50 PM ET, 07/25/2012

 
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