Witness in Holmes Trial Dead, Lanier Says Cases “Unrelated”

Rayshawn Hailstock, the 21-year-old who died after a fight in Southeast D.C. Sunday, testified in the Davon Holmes murder trial three days prior to his death. Metropolitan police are conducting a death investigation in the case and have not declared Hailstock’s death a homicide.

Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier said in an email Wednesday afternoon that the Holmes trial and Hailstock’s death are not related.

Holmes was convicted around noon Wednesday of second-degree murder while armed in connection with the death of 24-year-old Marcellus Bailey.

Hailstock testified last week that he was one of the last people to see Bailey alive.

Hailstock said that on the morning of August 3, 2011, Bailey and Holmes were arguing on the corner of 8th and Jefferson Street Northwest and at some point Holmes made a “slapping motion” at Bailey. Hailstock testified that he didn’t see a weapon in Holmes’ hand, but Holmes immediately ran off and jumped in the rear passenger seat of a nearby vehicle. The car then “screeched out of the neighborhood,” Hailstock said.

After the vehicle sped off, Bailey paced up and down the sidewalk a few times, while holding the side of his neck and bleeding profusely. Hailstock said that Bailey pulled his cell phone out his pocket and placed it near his ear, then placed it back in his pocket and asked Hailstock for a cigarette. Hailstock didn’t have one, so the two walked to Bailey’s truck.

Bailey found a cigarette and then sat in his truck for about five minutes holding his neck, which was “squirting and oozing blood.” And Hailstock lit Bailey’s cigarette because he couldn’t do it himself. Bailey took “three pulls,” Hailstock said.

Bailey later died at Washington Hospital Center. Holmes was convicted Wednesday of second-degree murder while armed; he is scheduled to be sentenced August 30.

Hailstock was found dead in the 2300 Block of Alabama Avenue SE around 8:30 p.m. Sunday. An MPD press release says that Hailstock died following a fight that evening, but it does not make clear the manner and cause of Hailstock’s death. Beverly Fields, Chief of Staff for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in DC, said Wednesday that Hailstock’s case is “pending.”

This story has been updated to reflect the comments from Chief Cathy Lanier.

A press release from the US Attorney’s Office has been added to this post below.

District Man Found Guilty of Second-Degree Murder While Armed
In 2011 Slaying in Northwest Washington
-Defendant Stabbed Victim in the Neck-

WASHINGTON –Devon Holmes, 30, also known as “Jamaica,” of Washington D.C., was found guilty by a jury today of second-degree murder while armed for the August 2011 slaying of a man in Northwest Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

The verdict followed a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Honorable Ronna L. Beck scheduled sentencing for Aug. 30, 2013. Holmes faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison

According to the evidence at trial, at about 2:45 a.m. on Aug. 3, 2011, in the area of 8th and Jefferson Streets NW, Holmes slashed the victim, Marcellus T. Bailey, 24, in the neck with a sharp object, causing a gaping wound and loss of blood. Holmes fled the scene. Mr. Bailey died a short while later. The motive for the attack is unknown. Holmes was arrested on Sept. 9, 2011, and has been in custody ever since.

In announcing the verdict, U.S. Attorney Machen commended those who worked on the case from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), including detectives, mobile crime technicians, and others. He also expressed appreciation for the work of Special Agent Kevin R. Horan of the FBI’s Cellular Analysis Survey Team (CAST). In addition, he acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Fern Rhedrick and Mia Beamon; Litigation Support Services Specialists Jeanie Latimore-Brown, Kimberly Smith, Claudia Gutierrez, Joshua Ellen, and Joseph Calvarese; Victim/Witness Advocates Marcia Rinker and Tamara Ince; Victim/Witness Services Supervisor David Foster; Witness Security Specialists M. Laverne Forrest and Michael Hailey; Criminal Investigators Mark Crawford and Christopher Brophy, and Intelligence Research Specialists Zachary McMenamin, Sharon Johnson, and Shannon Alexis.

Finally, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert J. Feitel and Kathryn L. Rakoczy, who prosecuted the case at trial.

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