Marcellus Jackson Found Guilty in Murder of Jamal Coates

Marcellus Jackson was found guilty Tuesday of second-degree murder and related charges in connection with the 2010 shooting death of Jamal Coates.

Coates, 21, was killed in September 2010 while he and friends were leaving the funeral of Ashley McRae, a friend who had also been shot and killed.

Prosecutors alleged in an indictment that on Sept. 28, 2010, Brandon Miller drove Lester Williams, Keir Johnson and Jackson to the area of 13th and U Street Northwest. Jackson exited the car at 12th and V Street Northwest and gave Miller a description over the phone of the vehicle that rival gang members were in, prosecutors say.

Last week, Johnson and Williams were convicted of first-degree murder in the case.

Jackson, Johnson, Williams, and another man, Robert Givens, were co-defendants charged with 80 counts of crimes in a trial that started in November of last year.

After over a week of deliberations, the jury began delivering partial verdicts, finishing Tuesday with the last verdicts, including Jackson’s guilty verdict. All four men were also found guilty of several weapons, conspiracy, and criminal street gang offenses.

In trial testimony, prosecutors portrayed the four men as “G-Rod” members, a gang named for their neighborhood street, Girard. Prosecutors said they wanted to build their power and attack rival gangs, one of which Coates was alleged to be in.

Jackson will be sentenced along with his co-defendants on June 13.

Defense attorneys argued that convicted “G-Rod” members who testified against the four men shouldn’t be trusted.

The four co-defendants rejected a government plea deal last September in which all four would have had to agree to the second-degree murder guilty pleas.

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