Judge Finds Probable Cause in Paul Jefferies Murder Case

Judge Lynn Leibovitz found probable cause Monday in the case charging Paul Jefferies with the death of 24-year-old Awele Olisemeka, who died after being hit in the head with a brick.

Police found Olisemeka on September 14, 2013 at approximately 6:09 p.m. on the 900 block of Madison Street Northwest beaten and unconscious. He was transported to a local hospital where he was diagnosed with multiple skull fractures, and admitted in critical condition. He died two days later.

Jefferies was arrested more than three months after the incident and charged with second-degree murder while armed in connection with Olisemeka’s death.

At the preliminary hearing Monday, MPD Detective Konstantinos Giannakoulias testified that Olisemeka was being attacked by Jefferies and an unknown man moments before he was struck.

It was two against one,” Giannakoulias said. “Jefferies took the brick to the decedent’s head like a bat.”

Charging documents state that Olisemeka was fatally beaten with a brick after a group of men assaulted, and attempted to rob his friends on 5th Street and Kennedy Street Northwest, one assailant wielding a knife.

When Olisemeka heard what happened, he went out with his friends to find the alleged assailants, documents state. At the Emery Recreation Center, Olisemeka and his friends spotted one of the men who had attacked them. The man pulled out a knife, then retreated to the basketball courts nearby. He came back to Olisemeka and his friends, bringing more than 50 other people with him, court documents state.

When the large group of men attacked Olisemeka and his friends, they retreated. To defend himself Olisemeka swung an 18-inch souvenir bat he had brought with him, hitting one or more individuals, court documents state.

Witnesses told police that the altercation moved into the streets near the recreation center. Jefferies was seen leaving to retrieve a brick from a row house nearby, charging documents state.

One witness, who identified Jefferies as the man that hit Olisemeka with a brick, told police Jefferies ran up from behind Olisemeka and swung a brick at his head, knocking him to the ground, documents state.

An unknown man then began kicking Olisemeka, while Jefferies ran over to pick up the brick then dropped it, the witness told police according to court documents.

Prosecutors Monday argued that Jefferies has lied to police, first saying he was not at the scene of the crime, and later alleging that he threw the brick at Olisemeka after he was hit with a bat.

But Jefferies’ defense attorney, Davies Matthew, said that Jefferies hit Olisemeka with the brick in self defense, claiming that the bat the decedent used was just as deadly as the brick.

Jefferies was visibly upset and weeping in court Monday.

I’m not a bad person,” he told the court.

The case is scheduled for a felony status conference on March 10 with Judge Russell Canan.

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