- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 11, 2001

A key prosecution witness said yesterday that two defendants have threatened to kill him since he began testifying in the death-penalty case against Tommy Edelin and the drug-dealing, racketeering and murder case against five co-defendants.

The accused defendants are Marwin "Funky" Mosley and Henry "Blue" Johnson.

"He told me he was going to kill me," said Thomas "Mussie" Sims, 24, referring to Mosley as he was passing the six defendants while leaving the U.S. District Court room Monday evening.

Sims said the exact words were, "I'll kill you. It'll be a blood bath."

Johnson's threat was made at the end of the noon break last week as Sims and the defendants were about to leave their cells in the courthouse basement, Sims said.

"He called my name," Sims said, explaining that Johnson and Mr. Edelin were in a separate cell nearby, and Johnson began singing a couple verses from "Scarface" and what happens to "snitches."

Sims said the song refers to the consequences of informing on others, and Johnson said the consequence for him was death.

Sims said he told the attending U.S. marshals and an inspector about the threats, but otherwise, "I wasn't going to pay any attention to it." But Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Pfleger learned about the threats and asked Sims about them as he completed his seventh day of testimony yesterday.

Two defense attorneys accused Sims of taunting the defendants by his attitude. Johnson's attorney Richard Gilbert asked rhetorically, "You would smirk at the defendants when your back was to the jury?"

"I don't remember smirking," Sims replied.

Judge Royce C. Lamberth made reference to the Mosley incident before the 16-member jury entered the courtroom yesterday morning.

"I want to make it clear, Mr. Mosley, that the court will not stand for that kind of behavior," Judge Lamberth said. After the jury learned about the threats, Judge Lamberth said they could only consider them as evidence against Mosley and Johnson.

The six defendants are on trial on charges of racketeering, drug dealing, conspiracy and involvement in 14 killings during the 1990s. If convicted, Mr. Edelin could be sentenced to death. If convicted, life imprisonment sentences could be imposed on Mosley, Johnson, Shelton "Wah-Luck" Marbury, Bryan Bostick and Mr. Edelin's father, Earl "Tony" Edelin.

In cross-examination for two days, defense attorneys have pointed out contradictions in statements that Sims made to FBI agents, police, prosecutors, the grand jury and in court.

Although Sims said he didn't know about it, Marbury's attorney Shawn Moore pointed out that Sims might have been considered for the death penalty himself for the three murders he admitted committing.

Defense attorneys emphasized that, under the plea agreement, Sims cannot be considered for anything less than a sentence of life in prison unless prosecutors prepare a letter of leniency to the sentencing judge because of Sims' testimony.

At one point, Mr. Moore sat on the floor and asked Sims to come down off the witness stand and demonstrate how he shot Antonio "Bam" Thomas in March 1997. Mr. Thomas died 15 months later.

Sims first stood to one side of Mr. Moore as he said he slapped and fired the first shot at Mr. Thomas, and then in front, but refused to raise his hand as if to fire an imaginary pistol.

Sims testified that he was telling the truth about drug dealers in Southeast getting most of their cocaine from Tommy Edelin. He testified that he got most of his drugs from the Edelins for his drug deals in Maryland, and said Tony Edelin was the expert on guns and coached associates to "touch" victims with their guns to be more certain of killing them.

Sims also testified about drug wars in Southeast, especially after Kevin Gray split off from the Young Young Crew to start his own drug ring. Gray is the primary defendant among 16 who will go on trial in the fall for drug dealing, racketeering, conspiracy and involvement in the killings of more than 30 persons.

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