Prosecutors: Anthony Rice’s Death was Older Cousin’s “Lottery Ticket”

Claire Rice spent an entire month planning her cousin’s murder in order to cash in on two life insurance policies, prosecutors alleged as Rice’s trial opened Wednesday. The money would have kept Rice from from losing her house.

Evidence will show she was living well beyond her means,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kerkoff said in opening arguments. “Rice owed $14,000 on her mortgage and as her financial problems mounted, she took out two life insurance policies on Anthony in which she was the sole beneficiary.” Kerkhoff said that Anthony Rice’s insurance was Claire’s “lottery ticket” and an “investment.”

Defense attorneys said the government’s version of events is far-fetched and “makes no sense.”
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Judge Issues Bench Warrant for Sole Eyewitness

Judge John Ramsey Johnson issued a bench warrant Tuesday after a murder witness failed to appear in court.

Misty Gibson is the only person who claims to have seen Sandy Greene’s murder on April 30, 2012.

According to charging documents, Gibson saw Andre Miles
— who she knew by the nicknames “Pit” or “Pug” — walk up to Greene with a silver semi-automatic handgun and shoot him six times.
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Prosecutor: “Raheem Jones planned to Murder Deandria Conyers”

A judge found probable cause Wednesday in the case against Raheem Jones, who is accused of fatally shooting Deandria Conyers on September 14.

Jones told Conyers he was coming to the apartment to bring her money he owed her, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Miller, but his real plan was to kill her.

Miller argued that Conyers was killed in her apartment and evidence showed that she let the killer in. “She was expecting someone,” Miller said. “Cell phone evidence shows the only person she was expecting was Jones.”
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One Dead, Two Arrested in Stabbing on Southern Ave SE

A stabbing Tuesday morning left 28-year-old Arthur Lee Gaither dead, according to MPD.

John Dyson, 25, and Alisha King, 23, were arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder while armed in connection with Gaither’s death.

Police found Gaither suffering from stab wounds in the 1200 block of Southern Avenue Southeast around 10 a.m. Tuesday. He was transported to a local hospital and died shortly after.

A press release from MPD is after the jump.
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Week in Review

In brief:

Four homicides were reported this week:

A judge found probable cause to hold Carlton Hammond for the stabbing death of Kenneth Young Jr.

Vernon Hendrick will remain held after a judge found probable cause that he committed first-degree murder in the shooting death of 26-year-old Titus Jackson on November 21.

Frank Lee Blanding pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault for the fight that left Benjamin Jennings dead on July 6, 2014.

Gary Johnson was arrested and ordered held in connection to the murder of 22-year-old Rhett Gelb in May 2013.

Week Ahead

Each week, Homicide Watch brings you a list of upcoming hearings in the cases we follow. All hearings are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. unless otherwise noted. To add an item to the listing, email To see scheduled court hearings beyond next week, see our calendar.
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Gary Johnson Charged in Rhett Gelb’s death

A judge ordered Gary Johnson held Friday on suspicion of felony murder and distribution of a controlled substance in connection with the robbery and murder of Rhett Gelb in May 2013.

Gelb was found next to a Cadillac Escalade at the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and Hamilton Street Northwest. He died later from his injuries.

Johnson, 51, is the third person arrested in the case. Roger St. John and Lawrence Wilkerson were arrested on suspicion of felony murder while armed in Gelb’s death. Police believe Johnson to be a participant in Gelb’s murder.
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Anthony Leak Jr Killed in Shooting


Anthony Larry Leak Jr died Thursday in a shooting near the intersection of Anacostia Avenue and Ponds Street Northeast, according to an MPD poster.

Police haven’t released a full statement on Leak’s death.

Update: NBC Washington reports that Leak may have been working as a courtesy driver, giving rides to shoppers at Safeway.

Third Suspect Arrested in Rhett Ghelb’s Fatal Shooting

Gary Johnson of Lanham, Maryland, has been arrested in connection to the murder of 22-year-old Rhett Gelb on May 27, 2013, MPD announced Thursday.

Johnson, 51, is suspected of first-degree murder while armed, police say. He is the third person linked to Gelb’s death. Roger St. John and Lawrence Wilkerson have both been charged with the same offense.

Gelb was found at the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and Hamilton Street Northwest next to a Cadillac Escalade. He died later at a local hospital.

A press release from MPD is after the jump.
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Heritage Rickey Jones Charged in Kirk Perry’s Death

Kirk Deangelo Perry was shot more than 13 times after a disagreement with Heritage Rickey Jones that began over a dog.

Perry, 50, was found unconscious
and suffering from multiple gun wounds in the 2400 block of Elvans Road Southeast. He died from his injuries at a hospital on December 1.

Jones, 21, was ordered held Thursday on suspicion of second-degree murder while armed. He was arrested Wednesday.
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