Prosecutor: “Evidence Contradicts ‘Accidental’ Shooting Claim”

A prosecutor argued Friday that Nilson Maldonado and his friends are working together to turn the fatal shooting of Anthony Sanchez into an accident, but the evidence, she said, shows otherwise.

At a preliminary hearing Friday, Judge Russell F. Canan found probable cause in the case against Maldonado for the shooting death of Sanchez on July 3, 2013. He will remain released under high-intensity supervision.

According to police, witnesses heard Maldonado say, “I didn’t mean to shoot him,” and that Maldonado tried to take the gun from Sanchez, they struggled, and the gun went off. But a medical examiner’s report didn’t match up with Maldonado’s story of a struggle.

The medical examiner expected to see soot or stippling if there was a struggle over the gun,” MPD Detective Joshua Branson testified Friday.

According to court documents, Dr. Lois Goslinoski, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Sanchez, told police that a gun fired at close range, as during a struggle, would leave burn marks and stippling around the entry wound. She found none of that.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Rakcozy, the prosecutor, said that Maldonado lied to police multiple times.

Maldonado initially told police that he found Sanchez, 18, crawling and convulsing on the ground outside of his [Maldonado] girlfriend’s apartment, as if on drugs, and that he took him to Washington Medstar hospital, charging documents say.

He lied to police about not knowing about a shooting, where he found the victim, and about where he lived,” Rakcozy told the court.

Defense Attorney Matthew Davies said that the only evidence in the case is that the shooting was an accident and that prosecution is speculating.

The court has not seen anything that shows this wasn’t an accident,” Davies said. “The government is making assumptions.”

Maldonado is scheduled for a felony status conference on Nov. 14 at 11:00 a.m. before Judge Canan.

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