- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 29, 2001

A D.C. police detective yesterday corroborated the story of a key witness who said that Tommy Edelin was driving the car out of which Bryan Bostick climbed to shoot and kill an innocent brother and sister on their way to a Christmas party eight years ago.
Detective Michael Joseph Will, a member of the Cold Case Squad for unsolved crimes, testified that Eric "Tall Eric" Jones first told him about the shooting in a telephone call from jail in July 1999.
In that call, Jones said he was in another car Dec. 17, 1993, on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue when he saw Mr. Edelin driving his white Acura Legend. Jones said Bostick, a black gun in his hand, got out of the passenger seat of the Acura at the Randle Street SE traffic light and ran up to the driver's side of another car, Detective Will said.
Jones said Bostick "fired shot after shot after shot into that car," ran around the back, then ran to the passenger side to fire more shots before running away, Detective Will said.
Killed by those shots were Rodney Smith, 19, and Volante Smith, 15. They apparently had no involvement in the racketeering, drug-dealing and conspiracies charged against Mr. Edelin, Bostick and four other defendants, including Mr. Edelin's father, Earl "Tony" Edelin.
Rodney and Volante Smith are among 14 murder victims resulting from those crimes, according to the indictments. If convicted, Tommy Edelin could be sentenced to death. It is the first death-penalty trial in the District in 29 years.
Detective Will's account was like Jones' own testimony nearly four months ago as the trial began. Defense attorneys called Detective Will to emphasize that Jones was telling the story for the first time six years after the killings.
In closing arguments next week, defense attorneys almost certainly will point out that Jones agreed to a plea bargain pleading guilty to being a part of ongoing criminal activities in hopes of getting a more lenient sentence than life imprisonment once the trial ends.
Questions from Bostick's attorney, Cary Clennon, determined that another inmate had contacted Detective Will, then turned the phone over to Jones. The detective, who knew nothing about the Safe Streets Task Force investigation into Southeast gangs, said Jones told him about "four or five other" unsolved cases.
Bostick's brother, Stanley, 37, and stepbrother, Roger Bond, 35, testified that Bryan Bostick was a "victim" rather than a participant in shootings that plagued Southeast neighborhoods in the 1990s. They said he received a flesh wound in the right backside of his waist on Sept. 29, 1993, when a car pulled up alongside them in front of their childhood home in the 600 block of Atlantic Street SE.
Stanley Bostick said he later understood the shooting resulted from a quarrel over a girl. The brothers said they never saw Bryan Bostick with a gun, that he had no car, and that he lived in Stanley Bostick's Virginia home for six months after he was wounded.
Bostick is also among 17 defendants coming up for a similar trial involving drug-dealing and racketeering late this year. Those defendants are charged with involvement in more than 30 killings. Two of the defendants, Kevin L. Gray and Rodney "Rasoo" Moore, could face the death penalty.
The first of the gang trials, resulting from the Safe Streets Task Force investigations, took six months in U.S. District Court and ended with convictions last month of all six defendants. Eighteen killings were attributed to the K Street Crew in Southwest.


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