August 17, 2010 at 11:11 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Murder suspect claims self-defense

A man charged in the Aug. 8 stabbing death of gay federal employee Delando King told police he acted in self-defense after King allegedly held a knife to his throat and threatened to kill him, according to a police affidavit filed in D.C. Superior Court.

The affidavit says defendant Marcus McLean, 24, a resident of Northeast D.C., initially denied knowing King and denied stabbing him inside King’s apartment at 1117 10th St., N.W., during the early morning hours of Aug. 8, when police believe the murder occurred.

“After being shown a still photograph of video footage showing defendant McLean and the decedent walking together at approximately 3 a.m. on Aug. 8, 2010, defendant McLean admitted that he stabbed the decedent inside the decedent’s apartment, but claimed it was in self-defense,” says the affidavit.

Police charged McLean with premeditated first-degree murder while armed after arresting him about 2:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 14, along the 2100 block of P Street, N.W., within a one-block radius of three gay bars.

King, 34, an employee of the U.S. Indian Health Service, was found dead in his apartment Aug. 9 by a building maintenance worker after a co-worker reported he had not shown up for work and could not be reached, a police statement said.

The affidavit says the Dupont Circle gay bar Omega played an important role in helping investigators solve the case by providing police with video surveillance showing King and McLean together at the club shortly before the murder took place.

It says findings of an autopsy conducted by the D.C. Medical Examiner’s office show that King “sustained about thirty (30) stab wounds, five of which penetrated the heart.”

Autopsy findings also show King suffered “chemical injuries and sustained several cuts to the arms and legs.” The affidavit says the chemical injuries appear to have been caused by the body being “doused with bleach” at the time of the murder.

Several of King’s belongings were stolen from the apartment at the time of the murder, according to the affidavit, including his computer, wallet and cell phone, and investigators noted that the bedroom where King’s body was found had been “searched” by the perpetrator.

The affidavit says McLean waived his right to remain silent and agreed to speak with detectives at the D.C. police’s Homicide Branch offices.

“Defendant McLean alleged that the decedent was forcing him to be a male prostitute,” says the affidavit. “According to defendant McLean, the decedent held a knife to the throat of defendant McLean in the early morning hours of August 8, 2010 and threatened to kill him. Defendant McLean claimed that he began to stab the decedent in the chest and then he (defendant McLean) blacked out and does not remember the remainder of the stabbing.

“Defendant McLean further stated that, after the stabbing, he hid the knife used to stab the decedent, took the decedent’s computer, cell phone, and wallet, and attempted to clean/remove his fingerprints from the apartment.”

Police believe the knife used to stab King is consistent with a knife missing from a knife set they found in King’s apartment.

The affidavit notes that King was 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighed about 140 pounds at the time of his death. It says McLean is about 6 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs about 230 pounds.

McLean’s attorney, Kia Sears, could not be immediately reached for comment.

According to the affidavit, investigators used surveillance video provided by Omega bar to track the whereabouts of King and McLean on the night of the murder.

“The nightclub known as ‘Omega’ is an establishment frequented by members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities,” says the affidavit. “While viewing the video, investigators were able to determine that on Aug. 8, 2010, at approximately 1:27 a.m., the decedent and Marcus McLean were inside the establishment and that the decedent was in possession of his wallet.

“On Aug. 8, 2010, at approximately 2:45 a.m., the decedent’s check card was utilized at a bar known as The Passenger located near the intersection of Seventh and L streets, N.W., Washington, D.C.,” says the affidavit. “Shortly thereafter surveillance footage from the Washington, D.C. Convention Center captured the decedent and Marcus McLean walking from the direction of the above establishment towards the decedent’s apartment located near the intersection of 10th and L streets … The video captures the decedent and Marcus McLean holding hands while walking.”

Capt. Michael Farish of the police homicide branch told news reporters Aug. 10 that police were seeking help from the community in identifying a man captured on video surveillance cameras at King’s upscale condo building entering the building with King. The video surveillance also showed the then unidentified black man leaving the building less than an hour later carrying a bag that he did not have when he entered the building.

The affidavit, prepared several days after Farish spoke to reporters, says investigators obtained bank records showing that McLean used King’s bank card to make purchases at several stores in D.C. and Montgomery County, Md.

It also says that at about 12:52 p.m. on Aug. 8, just hours after the Medical Examiner believes King was stabbed to death, McLean “is captured in surveillance video utilizing the decedent’s check card at the Regal movie theater in Silver Spring, Maryland.”

“Marcus McLean is observed still wearing the same clothing and carrying the same lime green bag as in the lobby surveillance footage that captured him leaving the decedent’s building approximately nine hours earlier,” it says.

The police affidavit says police apprehended McLean at 2020 P St., N.W., which is the address of Marriott Residence Inn Hotel. Omega is located in an alley behind the hotel at 2122 P St., N.W.

Jason James, the Residence Inn’s desk manager, said Monday that no arrest took place at the hotel at that time. A police spokesperson familiar with the case could not be immediately reached to confirm the location of McLean’s arrest.

Court records show McLean is being held without bond and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in D.C. Superior Court on Sept. 7.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

  • This is pathetic. “The affidavit notes that King was 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighed about 140 pounds . . . It says McLean is about 6 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs about 230 pounds.” King “sustained about thirty (30) stab wounds, five of which penetrated the heart.” This seems like a lot of rage for a murder. Was this gay bashing?

    Several of King’s belongings were stolen from the apartment at the time of the murder, according to the affidavit, including his computer, wallet and cell phone, and investigators noted that the bedroom where King’s body was found had been “searched” by the perpetrator.

    It appears obvious that this thug saw the victim as an easy mark and planned to murder him. I found it interesting that the victim’s check card was used by the perpetrator at The Passenger, bar located near the intersection of Seventh and L streets, N.W. which appears to be a straight bar. I am wondering if the perpetrator was straight – why would he have been in a straight bar after the murder?

  • Haterosexuals always use implied sex as an excuse to kill a gay person because no matter the evidence or lack there of haterosexual juries and judges will believe the haterosexual killer. Delado King was killed because he was gay and the haterosexual killer HATED gay people. Haterosexual juries and judges have the exact prejudices as the haterosexual killers in that they believe gay people’s lives are worth less than haterosexuals and therefore haterosexual killers should not be punished to the full extent of the law. But our cowardly gay activists and those gay people with platforms to speak will NEVER speak explicitly about these brutal gay killings.

  • Bill – I agree this is premeditated “I am gonna go out n kill me a fag tonite!” kind of impetus and totally preditorial! Seems like revenge rage? or perhaps self-hate?

    His lawyer came up with the defense story no doubt.

    Hopefully, the shake up in the DA’s Office will take on better police work.

    Wone murder case: A TOTAL FAIL!

    Becareful out there guys in who you take home…text and tell someone before you hook up anonymously.

  • Bill read the article again. Both King and McLean were seen walking hand–in-hand AFTER Mclean’s check card was used at Passenger. There are straight guys who prey on straight women (“Looking for Mr. Goodbar”), so it’s not far-fetched to think that a gay man would prey on other gay men. I don’t see a “haterosexual” angle so much as a violent opportunistic criminal one.

  • Mike: given that Mclean waived his Miranda rights and was talking to the police without a lawyer, I think it is a safe bet that his lawyer did NOT come up with the self defense story.

  • Sheldon, you’re a smart man who reads. Meanwhile, Bill proves to us once again that he is a bumbling and racist idiot.

  • @DC Live – The first “Bill” comment was mine, not the second (these are distinct IP addresses). There is no reference at all in my comment as to race. Once again you demonstrate your inclination to read racism into posts when it is not there.

    Last week, Kraig Rasool, MikeINdc, and whiteboy called you on your knee-jerk reaction to seeing racism in comments.

    This week, r2d2xx reminds you: “Let’s be clear about who is committing these crimes. Have you seen any gangs of white thugs roaming the streets near DuPont Circle. Stating an obvious fact does not make one a racist.”

  • @ Bill Whoever You Are – There is no “knee-jerk reaction” to seeing the true racism in these comments. I am in no mode to clarify to you why they are racist. It is 2010, and I don not have a desire to educate racist gays on their behavior. That type of scene is exclusive to reality tv episodes, and I no longer watch the Real World. So, I’ll allow you to bask in the ignorance of your racial hatred. In the meantime, you should be less offended when rabid homophobic people, regardless of their race, attack our gay community. Your failure to acknowledge (because I do believe that you know it’s there) racism in these comments is about as authentic as a homophobes inability to acknowlege bigotry against gays. If gays can be racist, then you need to become comfortable with homophobes hating gays. Of course, homophobic bigots view a fag as a fag regardless of race. Unfortunately, that’s plus one for the homophobic bigots. It’s no wonder we gays are losing the battle and the war!

    Oh, and Bill Whoever You Are, there is no need to round up the troops to come and provide reinforcement for your racist statements. Anyone with common sense can decipher for themselves and easily see the hatred expressed towards blacks in these threads. The primary problem is that you racist clowns see any black male and label him a thug. Unfortunately, you are falsely labeling good black gay men. I know, you don’t give a damn. But, you should. And yes, I see white thugs roaming Dupont Circle every weekend. But, since they are white…

  • @ DC Live — What a string of non-sequiturs! My comments and those of the other posters that I referenced clearly speak for themselves. We have added nothing – nothing – that was no contained in the articles or supported by common sense. If there are roving gangs of “15-20 black males” attacking white gay men in DuPont, it is black on white homophobic crime. It is what it is.

  • While you all are there critizing one another over your comments we here on the Navajo Reservation laid to rest a wonderful person who’s life was cut short by this guy. If you really want to do something worth while make sure the “Suspect” is not able to get away with this. Pray for Lando’s Family please!! Honestly!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Don’t believe what you read…. this guy was a pyscho and if your his friend my brother would never do such a horrific crime. Please just be human and let my family grieve.. my mother does read these post… If he acted in self defense why the fuk would you take my brothers debit card, cell phone, and etc… please let my mother grieve she lost a son and I lost my brother!!! you Can’t get that back…

  • I agree with you J. King. I was in shock after reading this. Very respectful man and always looking out for others. Delando would never do this to anyone…I can’t fully function, this makes me so angry! you have to be F**KED up in the head to do something this horrific. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May God comfort you in this time and may Delando RIP.

  • Livingston and J. King. Please don’t take the exchange that you have read here to suggest — in any way — disrespect for the horrible and tragic loss of your brother and friend. I am sure that the pain that you are experiencing is unbearable. I will keep you both and your family in prayer. Also, I will have our prayer group continue to pray for you during this very difficult time.

  • I echo J Kings sentiments….let the man rest in peace and hope that this guy is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law….Its more than obivous it was not a self-defense crime being that the King was much smaller than the attacker…6’7 is the size of some basketball players imagine one of them crying it was self defense. People in the gay community when featuring these clubs need to go with others…even when leaving. The more people less the chance of someone robbing or following you home. Its a awful thing to lose someone you love, even worse when they are snuffed out by another for no reason… Demand more police appearances in these alleys where the clubs are and even in the housing areas this will serve as a deterent.

  • I very much agree with J.King and Livingston. Delando was an amazing person who was loved by so many people. Contrary to what you all believe I was his friend as well as a very good friend to J.King and I know in my heart he wouldn’t do this sort of thing. He was a man who loved life and the people he knew. So please be respectful to his family and let them grieve in peace without you all using their hardship as a battleground for your own issues. J.King is right there mom does not need to hear this let alone deal with that crazy psycho claim his lack there of innocence. Seeing firsthand what their family went through and are still going though is enough to make you wanna hurt the person who hurt them. But I know God will punish him. I pray for you and your loving family J.King as well as his best friends at home and in D.C. and May God wrap you all in his arms and ease your pain. And may Delando finally RIP.

  • I just heard this news last night at the bar. I am very saddened. J King may your brother rest in peace. May your family find joy in the memories of your brother. God bless.

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