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Two Trinidad area men found guilty of first-degree murder in 2008 triple fatal shooting

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Two District men were found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder while armed in the 2008 shooting deaths of three men in the Northeast Washington neighborhood of Trinidad.

After three days of deliberations, a D.C. Superior Court jury found William N. McCorkle, 26, and Andre Clinkscale Jr., 25, guilty in the slayings of Duane Hough, Johnny Jeter and Anthony Mincey. The May 31, 2008, shootings sent authorities scrambling to set up neighborhood security checkpoints that were later ruled unconstitutional.

During a month-long trial, prosecutors outlined a case they said began when McCorkle argued with Hough and his two friends at a gas station at Florida Avenue and Holbrook Street NE. Moments later, authorities said, Hough, 37, was shot and killed on Holbrook.

Jeter was found behind the wheel of Hough’s GMC Yukon, also on Holbrook, according to prosecutors, and Mincey’s body was found nearby in an alley.

Authorities said Mincey, 35, was trying to escape a hail of gunfire when he was shot. McCorkle and Clinkscale fired 38 shots, according to prosecutors, standing over Hough as he lay on the ground and shooting him 17 times. McCorkle was arrested three months after the shootings.

During the trial, McCorkle told Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Kerkhoff and J.P. Cooney that he feared for his life when he shot Hough and Jeter, 24, because he thought the men had a gun.

McCorkle testified that he and Hough were arguing and Hough threatened to return to his truck to get a weapon. McCorkle said he began firing when he saw Hough return with what he believed was a gun, then opened fire at Jeter after watching Jeter hand Hough what he thought was a weapon.

No weapons were found on the victims. During the trial, defense attorneys argued that people at the crime scene could have taken them.

Both McCorkle and another witness testified that Clinkscale was not present at the shooting. McCorkle said one of his friends, Trey Joyner, killed Mincey. But Joyner was not present for questioning.

A year after the shootings, Joyner, 25, was fatally shot in the same neighborhood during a confrontation with four plainclothes U.S. Park Police officers as the officers were trying to make an arrest, according to police reports.

The jury also found McCorkle guilty of multiple counts of obstruction of justice for trying to influence witnesses and of contempt for refusing a court order to submit to fingerprinting.

Both men are scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 16 by Judge Lynn Leibovitz.

They face life in prison.

Earlier this year, McCorkle faced another first-degree murder charge in a fatal shooting that occurred after the Florida Avenue incident. In April, a jury acquitted McCorkle of first-degree murder in a July 2008 drive-by shooting in Trinidad that left Alonzo Robinson, 13, dead and and six others wounded.

After McCorkle’s arrest in connection with the triple homicide, authorities linked him to the July shootings and charged him and four others with first-degree murder. But prosecutors were unsuccessful in proving their cases against McCorkle and two of his co-defendants, twin brothers Joshua and Christian Benton.

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