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Arrest made in teenager's 1993 slaying in Columbia Heights

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By Martin Weil and Clarence Williams
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 25, 2009

A 35-year-old man has been arrested and charged in a fatal shooting that occurred in the Columbia Heights section of Northwest Washington 16 years ago, D.C. police said.

They said Jobe Toby was arrested Wednesday on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of LeCedric Gaino, who was found fatally shot in the 3500 block of 11th Street NW on June 5, 1993.

A detective said "a corroborating witness recently came forward," making it possible for a warrant to be obtained.

Advances in forensic science are invaluable, said Sgt. James C. Young, but he added, "I can not overemphasize" the importance of the aid provided by witnesses.

No address was available for the suspect, and it was not clear where he was arrested.

It was at least the second time in recent weeks that a suspect was arrested in a years-old D.C. homicide. In November, D.C. police announced an arrest in the January 1997 death of Sharon Moskowitz. In that case, police cited enhanced surveillance video and increased aid from witnesses who had been hesitant to speak.

Relatives said many people were nearby when the 1993 victim was shot. One relative said she thought "somebody stepped up to the plate" and gave previously unavailable information.

A news account suggested that the victim was 19, but a cousin said he was 17. She said he was a student and football player at Cardozo Senior High School, to which he had recently transferred from a school in Maryland.

Another relative called him a good and loving person.

The cousin said he was shot for "no reason." He was "talking to a guy," and suddenly gunfire erupted, the cousin said.

Relatives said he was the first of three cousins to be fatally shot in the District in what appeared to be unrelated incidents.

"None of them deserved to die like that," said Carolyn Gaino, speaking through tears. Her son was the second of the three to be killed.

She said she had heard news of the arrest.

Asked on Christmas Eve for her response, she described the family as churchgoing and suggested that the matter did not end with the workings of the criminal justice system.

"God," she said. "He's got the last word."

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