Jury selection begins in trial of five men charged in string of fatal shootings

Jury selection began Monday in the murder trial of five District men charged in a series of 2010 shootings that left five dead.

More than 70 prospective jurors were interviewed Monday, and another 140 are scheduled to be interviewed Tuesday and Wednesday as lawyers and D.C. Superior Court Judge Ronna Beck try to pick 12 jurors and five alternates.

Beck said the trial could last up to three months. More than 50 of the 72 people in the first pool of possible jurors raised their hands Monday when asked whether a lengthy trial might present scheduling conflicts. “We do need people to serve on this jury,” Beck told them. Jury selection is expected to continue through Thursday. Opening arguments are scheduled for Feb. 21.

Orlando Carter, 22; his brother, Sanquan, 21; Jeffrey D. Best, 23; Robert Bost, 23; and Lamar Williams, 23, are charged with first-degree murder and other offenses in the attacks.

The Carter brothers, Best and Williams are charged in the shooting death of Jordan Howe, 20, on March 22, 2010, in the 1300 block of Alabama Avenue SE. Prosecutors say Howe’s friends shot Orlando Carter the next day.

On March 30, the day of Howe’s funeral, prosecutors say Orlando Carter, Best and Bost shot and killed Tavon Nelson, 17, while trying to steal a gun. They then opened fire in the 4000 block of South Capitol Street with an AK-47-style assault weapon and a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol, prosecutors say, killing three people who had attended Howe’s funeral — Brishell Jones, 16, Davaughn Boyd, 19, and William Jones, 19.

Keith Alexander covers crime, specifically D.C. Superior Court cases for The Washington Post. He has covered dozens of crime stories from Banita Jacks, the Washington woman charged with killing her four daughters, to the murder trial of intern Chandra Levy.
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