A D.C. Superior Court jury yesterday convicted Morris Joseph Warren of armed kidnaping, rape, robbery and other charges in connection with assaults on three women in 1972 and 1973 that were part of a series of attacks known as the "Green Vega" rape cases.
Warren, 30, was originally convicted on the charges in 1973, and in an assault on a fourth woman, but the verdict was overturned in 1976 by the D.C. Court of Appeals.
Since then, one of the victims has died and a second has disappeared, according to the U.S. attorney's office. In an unusual move, the government asked the court to excuse the remaining two victims from testifying at Warren's retrial because of the psychological strain of another court appearance.
Chief Judge Harold H. Greene excused one of the women but said he would require the other to appear in court. As a result the government dropped those charges against Warren - thus freeing the woman from further testimony. Transcripts from the prior trial and pretrial identification testimony related to the remaining three victims was then read to the jury during Warren's retrail by secretaries from the U.S. attorney's office, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry R. Benner.
The cases became known as the "Green Vega" rapes because each of the victims was lured into a green Vega auto and assaulted.
Warren is serving a life prison term in Maryland for first-degree murder, Brenner said.