Orlando Carter, 22; his brother Sanquan, 21; Jeffrey D. Best, 23; Robert Bost, 23; and Lamar Williams, 23, were convicted of murder and a range of other offenses.
Sanquan Carter tugged at his necktie as the verdicts were read. His rage initiated the deadly events after his bracelet disappeared at a party and, thinking he had been robbed, he called his brother for help.
Best, the only defendant to testify, smiled and shook his head as he heard the verdicts; he whispered to Bost, and both smiled. Williams remained silent and looked straight ahead.
Judge Ronna L. Beck is scheduled to sentence all five on Sept. 11. During a news conference outside the courthouse, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. said his office would seek the maximum sentences — life without parole for Best, Bost and Orlando Carter, more than 300 years for Wiliams and more than 100 for Sanquan Carter.
His office was determined that they “never take another step outside of prison or take a breath of free air again,” Machen said.
After the bracelet disappeared, three of the men opened fire on a group of partygoers on Alabama Avenue, killing Jordan Howe, 20. According to prosecutors, no one in the group that came under fire knew anything about the missing piece of costume jewelry. Friends of Howe failed in a revenge attempt on Orlando Carter’s life, and he went on to plot shootings that killed four others.
The Carter brothers, Best and Bost were found guilty of multiple offenses, including first-degree murder, conspiracy and assault. Williams, who authorities said was not present at the shootings but supplied weapons and helped plan the attacks, was found guilty of multiple counts of second-
degree murder, assault and conspiracy.
Prosecutors Michael Brittin, Bruce Hegyi and Adam Schwartz used more than 1,000 pieces of evidence, including DNA, surveillance images and charts detailing cell phone conversations between the men around the times of the shootings, to build their case.
They also called more than 100 witnesses, many of whom testified that they saw the men together before, during or after the three shootings over eight days in March 2010.
Prosecutors admitted that they sometimes worried as the jury of seven women and five men deliberated for more than a week. As the days passed, Hegyi said, he and his colleagues began “second-guessing” their work.
“You worry and you hope that with the skills you bring, and the skills your team brings, that you did enough,” Hegyi said.
The prosecution’s main witness was Nathaniel Simms, 28, himself one of the shooters and a friend of the other five. Arrested soon after the final attack on March 30, Simms pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and agreed to cooperate with authorities.