It was a case that stumped two previous juries. The first one deliberated for a week before giving up.
In Raymond Roseboro‘s third trial, the jury took less than a day.
The verdict: Guilty on all counts.
Judge Russell Canan is expected to sentence Roseboro April 10 at 9:30 a.m. for first-degree murder while armed, possession of a firearm, carrying a pistol without a license, possession of an unregistered firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.
Jurors found there was enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Roseboro killed 16-year-old Prince Okorie in 2010 as the two young men walked to a local market after leaving class at Roosevelt High School. Roseboro’s defense attorney, James Rudasill Jr., had argued Roseboro wasn’t at the crime scene and was at home meeting with a career counselor.
Police never found the gun used, Rudasill argued, and the case hinged on witness identifications of Roseboro.
Roseboro has already spent more than two years in jail as the case was prepared for trial, tried and retried. In 2011, he had to be hospitalized after another inmate stabbed him five times.
Prosecutors initially said in court proceedings they thought Roseboro killed Okorie because he feared Okorie would testify against a friend, Eric Foreman, who faced charges in the 2010 murder of Catholic University of America student Neil Godleski. But prosecutors chose not to show evidence of a motive at trial.
Rudasill said he knew the outcome of this final trial Wednesday as soon as the foreperson stood up.
“I knew what the outcome was going to be once I saw who the foreperson was. This case was lost during jury selection,” said Rudsadill. “Every time the white man is the foreperson of the jury, my client’s been convicted.”
In an interview outside the courtroom, Rudasill said he believed that historically many juries allowed prosecutors a lower standard of proof in homicide cases than is currently standard. He added that the racial composition of juries in D.C. has shifted in recent years to become more white.
Roseboro’s third jury consisted of eight white jurors, three black jurors and one Middle Eastern juror, Rudasill said.
At trial, prosecutors introduced evidence that was not included in the previous two trials including phone records obtained from Sprint and the testimony of Roseboro’s former girlfriend, who spent time with him the day of the crime.
That evidence “probably changed the tides of the trial,” Rudasill said. “The phone records were a big difference.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Gripkey declined to comment on the verdict. After the ruling, Gripkey stopped to talk with detectives and investigators in the witness room, some of whom had spent years on the case.
Because the verdict came so quickly, it seemed few had time to make it to court. There were no apparent family members in the gallery at the time.
Penny Ray contributed reporting to this story.