Two people who witnessed Prince Okorie‘s shooting death in Petworth testified Wednesday in the murder case against Raymond Roseboro, who is charged with first-degree murder while armed as well as felony murder in connection with Okorie’s death.
The trial began Wednesday morning with opening statements.
Okorie died on the sidewalk Nov. 30, 2010 near the corner of 8th Street and Delafield Pl. Northwest after being shot at about 4:30 pm.
Stephen Gripkey, the prosecutor in the case, contends Roseboro shot Okorie in the back of the head and in the face at close range while the two walked to a nearby store with two other friends on the afternoon of November 30.
But Roseboro’s attorney, James Rudasill, argues that Roseboro could not have shot Okorie, who he knew, because he was home being interviewed for a job training program.
The first witness testified that he saw four young African American men walking down the street the day of the shooting. As the witness, who lives in the area, was walking into the middle of 8th Street to pick up some trash, when he heard a loud “pow.” He thought it was a firecracker.
He looked back towards the group of young men and saw one man standing over pointing a gun at another, who was lying on the sidewalk.
The witness heard at least two more shots. He said he could not see the shooter’s face, and couldn’t identify the man he saw standing over Okorie.
The second witness to testify Wednesday afternoon said Okorie and Roseboro were both friends from school. He was walking with Okorie and Roseboro and another friend to the store when Okorie was shot, he said.
Although he did not see the shots fired, the witness said he was sure that Roseboro was the shooter.
He had been walking next to Roseboro when he looked away from the group then heard a gunshot. When he looked back, Okorie was on the ground and Roseboro was standing at his feetholding a gun and showing a “mean face,” the witness said.
As the witness ran from the scene he heard three or four more shots.
The witnesses contradicted each other in their description of the shooter’s clothes. The first witness said the shooter was wearing blue. The second witness said Roseboro was wearing a red and white jacket.
Neither witness said there were any signs of animosity between members of the group as they walked to the store. The second witness said there had been no argument prior to the shooting and that he doesn’t know of any reason Roseboro might have to kill Okorie.
The trial is expected to resume Thursday at 10 a.m.