- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 17, 2001

One witness cried yesterday for the murder victim but, later, two witnesses and a U.S. District Court spectator cried for convicted killer and drug boss Tommy Edelin in the death-penalty phase of his trial.
Michelle Brooke, 31, cried as she described the effects on her family after her 19-year-old brother, Maurice "Reesy" Doleman, was slain on Nov. 21, 1993, in Southeast.
Their mother, Patricia Brooke, was 42 when she died "of a broken heart" two years later, and another brother was shot to death six months later, Mrs. Brooke said.
Their mother would look out the window in the Stanton Terrace community and cry when she saw her son's killer walking free. She would often sit in the dark, explaining that her beloved son, Maurice, would return in the dark, Mrs. Brooke said.
Edelin, 33, was convicted Thursday after a five-month trial of 19 felonies, including the payment of $1,500 to his hit man, Ronnie "Squid" Middleton, to kill Doleman for robbing an Edelin drug dealer.
Middleton, who killed two other Edelin foes, was himself killed Aug. 17, 1998, on directions from jail after Edelin was arrested, according to court testimony.
Yesterday, relatives pleaded, in effect, for Edelin's life.
They said his mother, Cecelia McEachin, was a drug addict who was often physically cruel to her children, neglected them and, with her young boyfriend, encouraged Edelin to deal drugs when he was 12 years old.
When McEachin was jailed in 1984 for drug dealing, Edelin sort of took over as parent of four younger sisters, relative witnesses said.
"He protected them," said an aunt, Frances Collins, 48. "He started selling drugs."
Mrs. Collins sniffled sporadically during her testimony, then would break into tears and wipe her nose and eyes.
Concluding, Mrs. Collins said she regretted that she had done drugs herself and neglected Edelin. "I love him so much. I love you, Tommy."
"I love you, too," Edelin said from his chair among his three attorneys.
Minutes earlier, another aunt among spectators cried loudly and fled from the courtroom as the seven women and five men who served on the jury turned to see.
At recess, Judge Royce C. Lamberth said such outbursts would not be tolerated and anyone who violated the edict would be banned from his courtroom. He also admonished Edelin that he was prohibited from speaking out.
An uncle, Antonio McEachin, 45, said the adults in Edelin's apartment were "smokin' weed," or doing heroin, and rolling marijuana when he would visit.
Mr. McEachin, now a contractor in York, Pa., described a robbery in 1972 while he was baby-sitting Edelin and his sisters. The robber stuck a gun in the teen-age baby-sitter's mouth, demanded drugs, then tied everyone up and fled with the television when unable to find drugs.
"I was shaking in my boots," Mr. McEachin said. "The oddest thing [about Edelin and his sisters], they didn't show much emotion at all."
Seven of Edelin's nine uncles and aunts do drugs, he said. "All they think about was drugs and money," Mr. McEachin said. "This young man had a sad upbringing. He didn't have any role model. … I'm sorry I wouldn't be a better role model, a better uncle.
"If I stayed in D.C., I'd probably be dead," said Mr. McEachin, who sometimes paused in apparent remorse.
Defense attorney William Kamwisher urged jurors to use common sense and not vote for the execution of Edelin.
"You need to know the man the government is asking you to kill," Mr. Kamwisher said. "Tommy will die on God's time, not on man's time.
"He will be entombed in steel and concrete for the rest of his life. This is severe punishment, no question about it."
Others convicted with Edelin found guilty on drug, conspiracy and racketeering charges, in addition to 14 murder charges were his father, Earl Edelin, Shelton "Wah-Luck" Marbury, Henry "Blue" Johnson, Marwin "Funky" Mosley, and Bryan Bostick.
Edelin alone faces the death penalty. The others face sentences of life in prison. The death-penalty prosecution against Tommy Edelin is the first since 1972 in the District. The last time a D.C. prisoner was executed was in 1957.

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