Allen Logan couldn't escape the photographs, the grisly shots of the toddler he was accused of killing, and yesterday the jury that saw those images convicted him of first-degree murder.
It was the second time Logan had been tried for the slaying of 20-month-old Mikea Washington and the child's 80-year-old "Granny," Simona Druyard. But it was the first time a jury had seen the most graphic autopsy photographs of Mikea, who was all but decapitated during a 2002 rampage in Northwest Washington.
The jury in the first trial last fall deadlocked over Logan's fate, unable to decide between two wildly different accounts of what happened June 14, 2002, inside a rowhouse in the 1400 block of Spring Road NW.
Logan was an ex-con barber with big dreams of a nightclub empire, and his would-be business partner was Mikea's father, Amin Washington, the man Logan was relying on to round up millions of dollars in start-up financing.
But the money, long promised, never materialized, and Logan became fed up, prosecutors said. Logan, who at the time was in violation of his probation on a destruction-of-property charge, went to Washington's home an angry man and left a killer, they said.
Amin Washington testified that Logan cut his throat. He told the jury that he tried to hide, but Logan threatened to kill Mikea if he did not come out. The child cried out "Daddy, Daddy" and then went silent, Washington testified. When he emerged, he testified, he saw Logan fleeing and found Mikea's body in a back room. Druyard, a neighbor who had become like family, lay dying on a couch, apparently attacked when she tried to come to the aid of the child.
Taking the witness stand in his defense, as he had done in his first trial, Logan, 34, insisted that Mikea had been killed by her father. Logan said Washington was slashing at him and, in an attempt to ward him off, had picked up the boy and was using him as a human shield.
A medical examiner testified in both trials that Mikea's injury was not consistent with Logan's account.
Several jurors in the first trial believed that Logan had killed Mikea and Druyard, but others did not, and the jury hung, leading to a new trial.
Early on in the second trial, the U.S. attorney's office renewed its bid to have some of the more graphic autopsy photographs admitted into evidence. D.C. Superior Court Judge John H. Bayly Jr. had excluded them from the first trial. Such photos can be excluded if a judge believes that they will do more to prejudice jurors than inform them.
Prosecutors argued that the jury this time needed to see the photos to judge Logan's claims. The judge in the second trial, Chief Judge Rufus G. King III, agreed and allowed in some of the materials.
After several hours of deliberation, beginning Monday and continuing yesterday, the jury convicted Logan on murder, burglary and assault charges. In finding him guilty of first-degree murder in Mikea's death, the jury also concluded that the murder was "especially heinous, atrocious or cruel," a finding that makes Logan eligible for a sentence of life without parole.
Logan, of Northeast Washington, is to be sentenced Sept. 21.
Charles W. Cobb and Glenn L. Kirschner, the assistant U.S. attorneys who prosecuted the case, said after the verdict that the photos were instrumental in winning the case.
"Words cannot describe the depth and breadth of that baby's injuries," Cobb said. "You think you know, but you have no idea."
Seeing them, he said, put the lie to Logan's account.
"When you look at the photographs, you know that there's only one way it could have happened," Cobb said.