September 30, 2010 at 6:18 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Judge orders suspect in gay murder held until trial

Delando King was stabbed to death in August. (Washington Blade file photo)

The man charged with the Aug. 8 stabbing death of gay federal worker Delando King was ordered held without bond until his trial during a court hearing last week.

D.C. Superior Court Judge Gerald Fisher ruled that prosecutors and police presented sufficient evidence to show probable cause that Marcus McLean, 24, is implicated in the murder and would present a danger to the community if released.

Fisher issued his ruling after Det. Hosam Nasr of the police homicide squad gave testimony about the police investigation that linked McLean to King’s death and prompted authorities to charge him with first-degree murder while armed on Aug. 14. He’s been held in jail since the time of his arrest.

Much of Nasr’s testimony reiterated allegations made in a four-page police affidavit in support of McLean’s arrest, which authorities filed in court at the time of the arrest. Among other things, it says an autopsy found that King had been stabbed 30 times in his apartment and his body had been doused with bleach.

Police found King’s body lying on his bed in his apartment in an upscale apartment building at 1117 10th St., N.W., on Aug. 9.

Nasr testified that McLean told police at the time of his arrest that he used bleach to clean his fingerprints from the apartment and poured bleach on King’s body as part of a means of hiding evidence that he learned through the TV crime show “CSI,” which focuses on crime scene evidence.

Nasr said police believe McLean met King at the Dupont Circle gay bar Omega on the night of the murder. The police affidavit says Omega’s management helped in the investigation by providing police with video surveillance footage showing King and McLean were in the bar together about 1:27 a.m. on Aug. 8

In recounting details in the affidavit, Nasr testified that police observed video surveillance footage that captured McLean and King entering King’s apartment building on the night of the murder. He said additional video footage showed him leaving the building alone a short time later while carrying a bag believed to contain items he stole from King’s apartment.

He testified that police further identified and linked McLean to King’s murder when they observed video footage of him making purchases at area stores, including a CVS store, while using a bank card discovered stolen from King’s apartment.

Nasr said that just hours after the murder, McLean also used one of King’s bank cards to purchase a movie ticket at a Silver Spring, Md., theater to see the film “Salt.”

According to the affidavit, McLean initially denied knowing King. When shown the video surveillance of him entering King’s apartment building, McLean admitted stabbing King but insisted it was in self-defense, the affidavit says. It says McLean told detectives a fight started after King attempted to force him to become a male prostitute and threatened to kill him by holding a knife to his throat.

“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,” the affidavit says.

Similar to an assertion in the affidavit, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kerkhoff disputed McLean’s claim of self-defense, noting that King was five-feet, five inches tall and weighed 140 pounds at the time of his death. She noted that McLean is 6 feet, seven inches tall and weighs about 230 pounds.

Kia Sears, McLean’s attorney, disputed the police evidence in the case, saying she questioned the accuracy of the account police gave of what McLean told detectives after his arrest.

Judge Fisher scheduled a felony status conference for Jan. 10. A trial date has yet to be scheduled.

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

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