The trial took about a week, but it didn't take long for the jury to render its verdict. After an hour of deliberations, jurors yesterday convicted a Northeast Washington man of murder in the drive-by shooting of a 15-year-old girl.
Joshua Ross, 21, meant to shoot someone else when he killed Myesha Lowe last year, prosecutors said. Myesha was shot while in a car with two adult women, including the intended target, they said.
Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) and other community leaders attended the funeral for Myesha, an honor student who was in an enrichment program to help her get into college. She was to leave on a group trip to Niagara Falls the day after the July 24, 2004, shooting.
Ross was arrested a few days after the killing. Prosecutors said he was identified by two women who were with Myesha in a car in the 1400 block of F Street NE.
The trial in D.C. Superior Court revisited a high-profile killing that occurred during a spate of violence against juveniles in the city.
Prosecutors said Ross and two other men drove by the parked car several times and eventually pulled beside it. Ross and one man opened fire with semiautomatic pistols, they said. The second gunman, who was wearing a mask, has not been charged because of difficulties in conclusively identifying him, prosecutors said. The alleged driver of the car -- Michael Brown, 21 -- is awaiting trial on murder charges.
The two women with Myesha dived to the floor of the car and were not hit. A bullet hit Myesha in the head.
Prosecutors said that Ross was part of a gang in the city's Trinidad neighborhood and that he was targeting a 19-year-old woman with Myesha who is the mother of a rival gang member's baby.
Soon after his arrest, Ross gave police a videotaped statement admitting to the shooting, prosecutors said. During Ross's trial, his attorneys said detectives coerced him into making the statement. A detective denied the allegation during his testimony.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Colleen Covell said she hoped the jury's verdict "has sent a message to these thugs who were wildly shooting up the streets."
The jury convicted Ross of first-degree murder, assault with intent to kill and firearms charges. Judge John H. Bayly Jr. scheduled sentencing for Jan. 27.
Ross is awaiting trial on charges stemming from a deadly armed robbery just 10 days before Myesha was killed. He is accused of taking part in the slaying of Gregory Givens, 19, of Richmond, who was fatally shot in the Trinidad neighborhood.