October 17, 2018
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
Appeals from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia
(CF3-16946-08 and CF3-16948-08 - Walker) (CF1-25684-08 -
Donaldson) (Hon. John Ramsey Johnson, Trial Judge)
S. Wright, with whom Jeffrey T. Green, Lindsey N. Walter, and
Robin E. Wright, Washington, were on the brief, for appellant
Willie Walker, Jr.
E. Allen for appellant Ricky Donaldson.
Jones, Assistant United States Attorney, with whom Jessie K.
Liu, United States Attorney, and Elizabeth Trosman, Nicholas
P. Coleman, Kimberley C. Nielsen, and Jeffrey Pearlman,
Assistant United States Attorneys, were on the brief, for
Blackburne-Rigsby, Chief Judge, and Glickman and Fisher,
these consolidated appeals, Willie Walker, Jr. and Ricky
Donaldson challenge the trial courts denial of their
post-trial motions, which claimed that they were entitled to
a new trial because of newly
discovered evidence. Walker also asserts that reversible
error occurred during the trial. We affirm.
I. Background and Procedural History
Appellants Willie Walker, Jr. and Ricky Donaldson were tried
by a jury between January and March 2014. The charges arose
out of three separate events: the February 4, 2008, shooting
of Patricia Holmes; the March 31, 2008, shooting of Delois
Persha; and the September 13, 2008, murder of Delois Persha.
Walker was found guilty of several crimes in connection with
the three events and sentenced to 88 years in prison.
Donaldson was found guilty of several crimes in connection
with the murder of Persha and sentenced to 45 years in
A. Appellants and Their Victims
(known as "Wee Wee") and Donaldson (known as
"Slick") were members of the LeDroit Park crew. The
crew was involved in selling drugs and committing violent
crimes, and its members stored communal guns and ammunition
in "trap houses" in the neighborhood. The
government alleged that the LeDroit Park crew was a criminal
street gang, citing evidence of the crimes its members
committed and graffiti with messages such as "DBD"
or "Death Before Dishonor," "Kill Rats,"
and "Respect Gs or Die," meaning snitching was not
tolerated and members of the crew would die before snitching
to the government.
and Donaldson were close friends with Devon
Davis (also known as "D Nice") who
had a court-imposed curfew while Walker was incarcerated.
Patricia Holmes (known as "Trish") grew up in
LeDroit Park and bought drugs from many people there,
including Walker, whose family she had known since before
Walker was born. In the past Holmes had run errands for
Walker and they got into physical altercations in which
Walker threatened to shoot and kill Holmes. Delois Persha
(known as "Peaches") had known Walker "since
he was a baby" and had seen him selling drugs. Holmes
and another witness from the neighborhood testified that they
knew Walker as "Wee Wee."
B. The Shootings
Patricia Holmes was shot outside of Jerrys carry-out
restaurant at the intersection of Georgia and Florida
Avenues, N.W., on February 4, 2008, after getting into an
argument with appellant Walker. When the police arrived at
the scene, Holmes repeatedly screamed, "Wee Wee shot
me." Two days later, Holmes looked at a nine-photo array
and identified Walker as the shooter. Before her grand jury
testimony in August 2008, Holmes identified Walker as
"Wee Wee" from a book containing photographs of
approximately 50 different people. (The jury was not told of
this identification.) At trial Holmes identified Walker as
"Wee Wee" and confirmed that Walker shot her.
According to Holmes, Donaldson was with Walker at the time of
March 31, 2008, Delois Persha was shot outside of an upstairs
apartment at 242 W Street, N.W., a block north of LeDroit
Park, while waiting for Terrill McCray to come to the door.
When Persha entered the apartment building, she had seen
Walker holding a gun and arguing with a man in the hallway.
While waiting for McCray, Persha told Deandre Swann, who had
come out of the apartment, to hurry up because she wasnt
"going to let him sit [her] down and shoot [her] like he
did that girl Trish [Holmes]." Walker and Swann soon
came up the steps while Persha was waiting outside the
apartment, and Walker shot her multiple times. Before Walker
shot Persha, he said "what you looking at" and
"you fuck with me, Im going to shoot you like I did
that bitch Trish. Bitch, Ill kill you." Persha briefly
lost consciousness and when she woke up, she was shot two or
three more times. In total, Persha was shot six times. While
in the hospital in April 2008, Persha identified Walker as
the shooter while examining a nine-photo array.
than six months later, while Walker was in jail, the police
found Persha lying on the sidewalk bleeding. A medical
examiner found that Persha died as a result of gunshot wounds
to the head and torso. At trial the government introduced
letters between Walker and Donaldson that police found while
executing search warrants for Walkers jail cell and the
homes of Donaldsons parents. The government argued that
these letters were coded messages which showed that Walker
and Donaldson conspired to shoot Holmes and Persha before
they could testify at Walkers trial. The government also
introduced calls Walker made while in jail that referred to
C. Jolanta Little
September 27, 2008, Jolanta Little was arrested for
an unrelated carjacking and interviewed by detectives. Little
confessed to the carjacking and subsequently told other
detectives that he saw Donaldson shoot and kill Persha.
During that videotaped interview, Little identified a
photograph of Donaldson and a photograph of the type of gun
used by Donaldson, described characteristics of the gun used
by Donaldson, and marked on maps to show where the shooting
took place. The detectives also spoke to Little about the
theory that Walker arranged Pershas murder and Little
responded with information about the friendship of Walker and
entered into a plea deal and signed a cooperation agreement
with the government. When he testified before a grand jury on
November 26, 2008, Little confirmed that he had reviewed the
videotape of the September 27 interview and wanted to
incorporate that recording into his grand jury
testimony. However, when the grand jury
reconvened on December 11, 2008, Little testified that what
he told the detectives in September was not the truth but was
based on rumors he had heard. Little said that he lied to the
detectives to get out of jail, and put Donaldson in jail
instead, because he had heard a rumor that Donaldson was
trying to rob him.
pretrial deposition over which the trial court presided on
January 14-15, 2014, Little testified that he was the person
who killed Persha. At the time of this deposition, Little
also stated that he had been granted immunity and believed he