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Logan v. United States

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

October 6, 2016

ALLEN J. LOGAN, JR., Appellant,

          Argued September 29, 2015

         Appeals from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia (FEL-3853-02) Hon. Rufus G. King, III, Trial Judge Hon. Neal E. Kravitz, Motions Judge

          Richard S. Stolker for appellant.

          John V. Geise, Assistant United States Attorney, with whom Ronald C. Machen Jr., United States Attorney at the time the brief was filed, and Elizabeth Trosman, John P. Mannarino, Charles W. Cobb, and Glenn L. Kirschner, Assistant United States Attorneys, were on the brief, for appellee.

          Before Washington, Chief Judge, Glickman, Associate Judge, and Belson, Senior Judge.


         This case came to be heard on the transcript of record and the briefs filed, and was argued by counsel. On consideration whereof, and as set forth in the opinion filed this date, it is now hereby

         ORDERED and ADJUDGED that the judgments of conviction appealed from are hereby affirmed.


          James A. Belson, Senior Judge

         A jury convicted appellant of: (1) armed burglary;[1](2) assault with the intent to kill while armed;[2] (3) aggravated assault while armed;[3] (4) second degree murder while armed of Simona Druyard;[4] and (5) first degree murder while armed of Mika Washington.[5] Appellant's first trial, held before the Honorable John Bayly, ended in a mistrial. He was convicted in his second trial, which was before Chief Judge Rufus King. Appellant appeals his convictions and sentences, as well as the denial of his motion to vacate sentences brought pursuant to D.C. Code § 23-110 (2012 Repl.). For the reasons stated below, we affirm.


         The government's evidence showed that appellant had entered into an informal agreement with Amin Washington, in which Washington promised to invest many millions of dollars into appellant's planned restaurant/nightclub project, Platinum World. Appellant had met Washington in February 2002 at the office of appellant's attorney, Gary Williams. Washington had earlier told Williams that he had millions of dollars overseas, but that there was a problem regarding its being transferred to the United States. This claim of wealth seemed doubtful to Williams, who had never seen any documentation showing that it existed. It was also inconsistent with the lifestyle of Washington, who lived with his wife and two children in a single room in a rooming house. Appellant discussed his plan for Platinum World with Washington soon after they met at Williams's office, and he secured Washington's agreement to invest millions of dollars in the project. There were several times before June of 2002 when they were supposed to meet and execute the necessary documents but did not because the promised money had not yet arrived from overseas. Finally, June 14, 2002, was chosen as the date upon which appellant and Washington would meet and execute the documents necessary to enable appellant to use Washington's money, which by then was to have arrived, to carry the plan forward. On that afternoon, appellant received a phone call from Washington who indicated that he was not able to provide the long-awaited funds. Appellant became very upset and was described by his girlfriend, Patrice McFarlane, as "crying, " "sobbing, " and in a "rage."

         After appellant received the phone call, a friend, Joshua Thompson, drove him to 1119 Montello Avenue, Northeast, where Washington lived with his family, including his two year-old son, Mika Washington. Appellant and Washington arrived at the same time, and Washington's landlady, 80 year-old Simona Druyard, let them in.

         Once inside the house, Washington leaned over to get his briefcase, whereupon appellant, who had worked as a barber, grabbed him from behind and cut his throat with a sharp object. When appellant briefly stepped away, Washington got behind a partially-glass door. Appellant broke the glass and wounded Washington, near his eye and on the back of his hand, with a sharp object. Washington was then able to barricade himself in an adjacent room whereupon appellant said "[c]ome out or I'll kill your son." Washington, who was panicking, in pain, and bleeding heavily, did nothing at first. After a while, he came out to find Mika lying on the porch floor and as he picked him up, he "was trying to keep [Mika's] head on." Ms. Druyard was found in the living room, her throat deeply slit. Washington also witnessed appellant "going over the [back] gate."

         Ms. Druyard died as a result of an incised wound in her neck through her trachea and major blood vessels. Mika had a cut across his throat, from "one ear to the other" that cut through his air pipe, food pipe and the muscles to the right of the spine. Immediately after the incident, appellant called a friend, Alison Henderson, and asked for money as well as a place to stay. He also told her that he had "made some bad decisions."

         At trial, appellant sought to prove that he and Washington had argued, that appellant had picked up Mika in order to protect himself, and that Washington cut his son while trying to cut appellant with a knife.

         The Search of Appellant's Cell Phone

         At about 6 p.m. on June 14, 2002, appellant was detained as the result of police investigation into the killings, and his cell phone was taken incident to his arrest. The following day, June 15, 2002, a lawful search of appellant's home was conducted pursuant to a search warrant. In the process of conducting the search, Officer Garvey spoke to two witnesses who stated they had observed appellant speaking on the phone on the afternoon of the murders and that after the phone call appellant's mood changed from being "relaxed" to being "enraged." In light of this information, Officer Garvey proceeded to search appellant's cell phone for calls made, and was careful to note the information because, he said, he was concerned the data would be lost. Information ...

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