- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Lawyers clashed yesterday as the U.S. District Court jury was readied to begin deliberating the racketeering, conspiracy, drug-dealing and murder charges against Tommy Edelin and five co-defendants, including his father, Earl "Tony" Edelin, 51.
In closing rebuttal, Assistant U.S. Attorney William Sullivan Jr. referred to comments during closing arguments last week by Shelton "Wah-Luck" Marbury's attorney, Shawn Moore, that the FBI was incompetent and "couldn't find a bleeding elephant in a snowstorm."
Indeed, the FBI did not find any bleeding elephants in Southeast, Mr. Sullivan said, "but they did find a lot of bleeding men, women and children."
Marwin "Funky" Mosley's attorney Jensen Barber appeared angry and objected repeatedly that Mr. Sullivan "made many misstatements of fact" during three hours of rebuttal. Because of that, he asked for a mistrial, which Judge Royce C. Lamberth denied.
Judge Lamberth will give instructions to the jury this morning. Then, the jury will begin reviewing the evidence and testimony presented by more than 100 witnesses over the past 18 weeks.
The 96-count indictment includes 14 murders. If the jury convicts Tommy Edelin, 33, it will reconvene to consider imposing the death penalty, the first in 29 years in the District. The other defendants, including Henry "Blue" Johnson, 29, and Bryan Bostick, 28, could be sentenced to life imprisonment if convicted.
The trial was likened by Mr. Sullivan to a movie theater with defense attorneys wanting jurors to sit too close to the screen "to see a small picture."
"Ladies and gentlemen, stay focused," Mr. Sullivan said. "You have the panoramic view."
"These homicides are interrelated," Mr. Sullivan said, explaining that the Safe Streets Task Force was created in 1996 to put a stop to a bunch of "independent shootings." It discovered "the violence was driven by a drug conspiracy," he said, and "The conspiracy was driven by Tommy."
Tommy Edelin's three attorneys have contended that there was no conspiracy, and that their client was more engrossed in attaining fame and prestige as a rapper through his Drama City Records studio.
All defense attorneys attacked several witnesses called "unindicted co-conspirators" for testifying against the defendants. Those witnesses had pleaded guilty to various charges, including murder, and are to be sentenced after the Edelin trial. Defense attorneys emphasized that the witnesses hope to get lenient sentences from Judge Lamberth.
"They called them snitches or cooperators," Mr. Sullivan said, but he asserted that evidence and other testimony corroborated the testimony of such witnesses as Eric "Tall Eric" Jones, Andre McDuffie, Damien "O-Face" Green, Thomas Randolph, Dante Barnes and Thomas "Mussie" Sims.
"The defense tells you not to believe Eric Jones or Thomas Sims," Mr. Sullivan said, but those "inside witnesses" showed that Tommy Edelin got others to deal the drugs and shoot the guns, while Tony Edelin was the "counselor" and "armorer," advising on how to use weapons and fix them.
Mr. Sullivan said video and audio tapes corroborated the testimony, and repeatedly quoted Tommy Edelin as saying, "In this town, you gotta have bodies under your belt."
"Tommy was the continuing criminal enterprise," Mr. Sullivan said.


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