Jury Finds All Three Defendants Guilty in Murderous Feud

Jury Finds All Three Defendants Guilty in Murderous Feud

            WASHINGTON –Following a nine-week long trial, a D.C. Superior Court jury returned verdicts finding Derek B. Turner, 31, Ronnika M. Jennings, 44, and Duan M. Hill, 33, guilty of multiple felony offenses arising out of a violent gang feud between two neighborhoods in Southeast Washington, D.C. in 2016-2017.  The defendants were charged in a multiple-count conspiracy case that included two separate murders, multiple shooting offenses, and multiple obstruction of justice offenses. 

            Late Wednesday afternoon, the jury returned the following verdicts: against Turner for Conspiracy to Kill and Assault, Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice, two counts of First Degree Premeditated Murder While Armed, three counts of Assault With Intent to Kill While Armed, four counts of Possession of a Firearm During a Crime of Violence, seven counts of Obstruction of Justice, and four counts of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm (Prior Conviction); against Jennings for four counts of Accessory After the Fact and one count of Obstruction of Justice; and against Hill for Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice and two counts of Obstruction of Justice. 

            Sentencing is scheduled for March 10, 2023.

            In 2016-17, a dispute ensued between Wahler Place and Trenton Park crews, rival groups located in Southeast.   In less than a year, 16 serious violent crimes, including four homicides, arose directly from the dispute, and at least 12 other serious crimes of violence, including at least three homicides, were part of the investigation.  The government’s case showed that Wahler Place members engaged in a violent crime conspiracy targeting members of Trenton Park.  Turner, also known as Fats, was a member of Wahler Place and was charged with the January 7, 2017 murder of Devin Hall and the March 1, 2017 murder of Andrew McPhatter, as well as several non-fatal shootings.  The jury convicted Turner in both murders, as well as the February 17, 2017 attempted murders of rivals Raheem Osborne, Joseph Tyler, and Andrew McPhatter (before he was the victim of the later homicide).  In the course of committing the charged offenses, defendant Turner utilized defendant Jennings, a civilian clerk in MPD’s Seventh District, to provide him with confidential police information to assist him and others in their criminal activities.  Jennings was convicted of three counts of Accessory After the Fact in the February 17, 2017 attempted murder, as an Accessory After the Fact in McPhatter’s murder, and on one count of Obstruction of Justice.  Hill was convicted of multiple counts of obstruction of justice in connection with a conspiracy to recruit an associate of Turner to take criminal responsibility for the firearm that Turner used to commit the two charged murders as well as three charged attempted murders. 

            In announcing the verdict, U.S. Attorney Graves commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department, specifically Det. Charles Fultz and Det. Jeffrey Weber, as well as Special Agent Samuel Ward from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.  He also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the U.S. Marshals Service, the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, and the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences. He acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including: Paralegal Specialists Kelly Blakeney, LaShone Samuels and Stephanie Siegerist; Supervisory Paralegal Specialist Tasha Harris; Investigative Analyst Zachary McMenamin; Supervisory Victim/Witness Advocate Jennifer Clark; Victim/Witness Security Specialist Robert Cephas; Supervisory Victim/Witness Security Specialist Lesley Slade; Supervisory Victim Witness Service Coordinator Katina Adams-Washington; Supervisory Litigation Technology Specialist Leif Hickling; Litigation Technology Specialist Maisha Treadwell; Litigation Technology Specialist Thomas Royal; Special Agents Durand Odom and Mark Crawford; former Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dineen Baker and Sara Vanore; Appellate Section Deputy Chief John Mannarino; Homicide Deputy Chief Laura Bach; and Assistant U.S. Attorney AUSA Erin DeRiso.

            Finally, he commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Truscott and Kevin Flynn, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

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