FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
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Two District Men Convicted of First-Degree Murder While Armed
In Triple Homicide in Trinidad Area of Northeast Washington
- Defendants Fired at Least 38 Shots, Killing Three Unarmed Men Outside Gas Station -
WASHINGTON - William N. McCorkle, 26, and Andre Clinkscale, Jr., 25, both of Washington, D.C., were found guilty by a jury today of three counts of first-degree murder while armed with aggravating circumstances and related firearms offenses for shooting three unarmed men near a gas station in the Trinidad area of Northeast Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
The verdicts followed a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. In addition to finding both McCorkle and Clinkscale guilty of three counts of first-degree murder while armed, the jury found that the manner in which the murders were carried out was especially heinous, atrocious, and cruel. The jury also found McCorkle guilty of multiple counts of obstructing justice for efforts to corruptly influence witnesses and contempt for refusing to comply with a court order that he submit to the taking of fingerprints.
Both men face the possibility of life imprisonment. Sentencing is scheduled for December 16, 2011, before the Honorable Lynn Leibovitz.
The murders occurred May 31, 2008, following a verbal argument between McCorkle and one of his victims, Duane Hough, 37, at 4:15 a.m. outside the BP Gas Station located at the intersection of Florida Avenue and Holbrook Street NE.
During the argument, McCorkle removed a 9-millimeter Glock pistol, equipped with an extended magazine holding at least 29 rounds of ammunition, from his waist area and held it at his side. Clinkscale, a close friend of McCorkle’s who was present at the gas station, also removed a 9mm firearm from his waistband and joined McCorkle. Two friends who were with Hough that morning, Johnny Jeter, 24, and Anthony Mincey, 35, retreated to Hough’s vehicle, which was parked outside the gas station.
As Hough stood unarmed in front of him, McCorkle pointed his firearm at Hough and fired. Clinkscale then joined in the gunfire. Hough was first struck in the head, causing him to fall to the ground, while McCorkle and Clinkscale continued firing at him, eventually standing over his body and firing into his head and torso while he lay motionless on the ground. The men inflicted 17 gunshot wounds on Hough; police later recovered four bullets stuck to the rear of Hough’s shirt, which had been crushed between his back and the street, as well as shell casings on top of and immediately next to his body.
McCorkle and Clinkscale then turned toward Hough’s vehicle, to which the unarmed Jeter and Mincey had retreated, walked within feet of it, and opened fire, killing Jeter as he attempted to drive away. After killing Jeter, the men turned their attention to Mincey, who had fled the car, crouched behind it, and then tried to escape by running into a nearby alley. McCorkle and Clinkscale pursued Mincey into the alley, firing at him as he ran and after he eventually fell to the ground.
All told, McCorkle and Clinkscale fired at least 38 shots and inflicted 37 gunshot wounds on Hough, Jeter, and Mincey. For months thereafter, both McCorkle and Clinkscale engaged in efforts to cover up their involvement, including threatening and intimidating witnesses to prevent them from cooperating with the MPD’s investigation, up until their respective arrests in August 2008 and March 2009. They have been in custody ever since.
“More than three years ago, in the early morning hours, William McCorkle and Andre Clinkscale brutally executed three men in cold blood following a verbal argument with one of the victims,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “William McCorkle then tried to obstruct justice by threatening and intimidating witnesses in order to prevent them from cooperating with the police. Today both men were held accountable for their heinous acts of violence and will face the possibility of life imprisonment at their sentencing. Today's verdict is a testament to this community's refusal to allow senseless acts of violence to go unpunished.”
In announcing the verdicts, U.S. Attorney Machen and Chief Lanier expressed condolences to the families of the victims. They expressed appreciation to those who worked on the case from the MPD, particularly praising the dedication of Detectives Susan Blue, Jeffrey Mayberry, and Jeffrey Owens, and Fifth District Officers Duane Davis, Steve Pappas, Steven Prade, and Darrell Young, each of whom worked for more than three years to investigate the case and assist in bringing it to trial. They also commended the work of Deputy U.S. Marshal Willard King, of the U.S. Marshals Service, who worked tirelessly prior to and during the trial to locate critical witnesses. Finally, they commended those who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Litigation Support Services personnel Leif Hickling and Tracy Van Atta; Intelligence Specialist Lawrence Grasso; Victim/Witness Advocates Tanya Via and Marcia Rinker, and Paralegals Fern Rhedrick, Kelly Blakeney, Kwasi Fields, and Phil Aronson, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorneys J.P. Cooney and Jennifer Kerkhoff, who prosecuted the case at trial.