FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
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Three Men Found Guilty of First-Degree Murder While Armed
And Other Charges For Killing a Man During 2009 Robbery
-Second Victim Was Shot and Wounded-
WASHINGTON – Paul Ashby, 50, Keith Logan, 51, and Merle Watson, Jr., 56, all of Washington, D.C., were found guilty by a jury today of first-degree murder while armed and other charges for killing a man during a kidnapping and robbery. Logan also was found guilty of shooting a potential witness the same night, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
The verdict followed several weeks of trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. All three defendants were found guilty of first-degree murder while armed, with aggravating circumstances, conspiracy, kidnapping while armed, armed robbery, and weapons offenses. Logan also was found guilty of assault with intent to kill while armed, aggravated assault while armed, and mayhem while armed, for the attack on the potential witness.
The Honorable Herbert B. Dixon, Jr. is to sentence the defendants on Oct. 9, 2013. They face mandatory minimums of 30 years in prison and potential sentences of life in prison.
According to the government’s evidence, Ashby, Logan and Watson conspired to kidnap and rob Carnell Bolden, 36. They lured Mr. Bolden into Logan’s residence in the unit block of W Street NW during the early evening hours of Dec. 30, 2009. After beating him unconscious and tying him up, the defendants then went to get Mr. Bolden’s car, which was parked on the block.
Ashby, Logan and Watson then discovered that Mr. Bolden’s girlfriend was sitting in the car. Fearing she would be a witness against them because she might know where Mr. Bolden was going when he left the car, they then decided to kill both of them.
Ashby drove Mr. Bolden, tied up and unconscious, to the 3000 block of Park Drive SE, where he dragged him into a wooded area adjacent to that block. He then shot Mr. Bolden twice at close range with a .38 or .357-caliber handgun, killing him.
While Ashby was on the way to Southeast Washington with Mr. Bolden, Logan approached Mr. Bolden’s girlfriend as she sat in her car. He stood outside the driver’s window and shot her four times with a nine-millimeter handgun. She was rushed to Washington Hospital Center and survived the attack.
In announcing the verdicts, U.S. Attorney Machen expressed appreciation to those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences, and the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Va.
He also thanked those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Advocates and Specialists Marcia Rinker, La June Thames, Katina Adams-Washington, and Michael Hailey; Paralegal Specialists Sandra Lane, Kendra Johnson, Kwasi Fields, Anthony Griffith, and Antoinette Sakamsa; Litigation Technology Specialists Paul Howell, William Henderson, and Anisha Bhatia; Law Clerks Lauren Sparks and Ryan Lipes, and Criminal Investigator Derek Starliper. In addition, he acknowledged the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alessio Evangelista, who led the grand jury investigation, and Reagan Taylor, who helped prepare the case for trial. Finally, he commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael C. Liebman and Erik Kenerson, who tried the case.13-279