Teen Guilty of Murder in Shooting of College Student

By Ruben Castaneda
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 21, 2008

A Prince George's County jury found a Capitol Heights teenager guilty of first-degree murder last night in the March 2007 death of a college student whom he planned to rob near the Addison Road Metro station in Seat Pleasant.

The jury returned its verdicts against Khiry Montay Moore after deliberating for 11 hours over two days in the shooting death of Maurice Thomas Powell, 19.

Moore was also convicted of attempted robbery and gun charges in the shooting. He faces life in prison when he is sentenced May 13 by Circuit Court Judge Larnzell Martin Jr.

The prosecution's case centered on a videotaped statement Moore made when he was arrested 10 days after the slaying. Defense attorney Don E. Ansell said the confession was coached and coerced, and he accused county police of "feeding" details of the shooting to his client.

Assistant State's Attorney Richard Allen Moore III countered that Moore, who was 16 at the time, could have left the interview at any time.

Prosecutors said Moore waived his right to remain silent and agreed to be interviewed by detectives, who questioned him over a span of 11 1/2 hours. Moore initially denied having anything to do with the attack but later admitted to the shooting.

In his closing argument, the prosecutor called Moore, to whom he is not related, "a cold-hearted thug."

The events leading to Powell's slaying began shortly after 1 a.m. March 11, 2007. Powell and two friends were walking home from the Metro station after having watched a movie in Georgetown. They were stalked by Moore and two co-conspirators, who planned a robbery, according to evidence presented by prosecutors during the trial.

Realizing they were being followed, Powell and his friends tried to run. As they started to flee, Moore fired three shots from a 9mm handgun, according to trial testimony. One shot hit Powell in the elbow, and the other struck him squarely in the back. He died at the scene.

Powell's two friends, who were not wounded, ran to Powell's home nearby, hoping to find him there, prosecutor Moore said during his closing argument. When Powell did not answer his cellphone, Powell's father went out searching for his only son and found him dead in the street, Moore said.

Prince George's State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey said last night after the verdict, "It is a sad and frightening situation when youth who are only out together to enjoy a movie are attacked and gunned down for no reason."

Powell's co-defendants, Charles M. Dutch, now 18, and Steven Henry Scott, now 19, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery and are to be sentenced today, said Ramon Korionoff, a spokesman for the state's attorney's office.

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