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.