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Judge orders suspect in gay murder held until trial

Federal worker was stabbed, doused with bleach 

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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.

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Delaware

Delmarva Pride to feature drag, dancing, and more this weekend

Easton and Cambridge to host events

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A scene from Delmarva Pride. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The Delmarva Peninsula will hold its annual Pride celebration this weekend, including drag shows, a festival, and much more. 

The Delmarva Pride Center will put on the annual Pride celebration starting on Friday, June 14, and it will go until Sunday to celebrate queer love and acceptance in Delmarva.  

The weekend kicks off on Friday with a free legal clinic in partnership with FreeState Justice at the Academy Art Museum, 106 South St., Easton, Md. Free legal services including name and gender marker changes, criminal record expungements, and peace and protection orders are just some of the services being offered. For more information visit freestate-justice.org.

Then on Friday night, the third annual Pride Drag Show will be at the Avalon Theatre, 40 E Dover St., in Easton. Bring your cash as four drag queens and host Miranda Bryant put on the fundraising show, where 100% of ticket sales go to the Delmarva Pride Center. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and performance begins at 7 p.m. For tickets visit avalonfoundation.org.

On Saturday there will be the Pride festival from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at  S. Harrison and E. Dover Street, in Easton. This free community festival will include vendors, live performances, and more. 

Saturday night the party gets going as Delmarva Pride will host its 2024 Pride Dance. There will be a DJ and drinks available for purchase. This event is for 18 and up and will include a cash bar for anyone 21 and up. No tickets are required. 

To round out your Pride weekend, on Sunday the Delmarva Pride Brunch will be held at ArtBar 2.0, 420b Race St. in Cambridge, Md. Tickets include food, access to the mimosa bar, and a drag performance. Tickets are available here

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Baltimore

People of Pride: Five Marylanders making a difference in the LGBTQ+ community

Baltimore Pride is this weekend

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Jabari Lyles poses for a portrait in East Mount Vernon Place in Baltimore on June 10, 2024. (Photo by Jessica Gallagher/The Baltimore Banner)

By JOHN-JOHN WILLIAMS IV | One hosts movie nights, karaoke and other events that provide a safe space for LGBTQ people. Another has become a sounding board for customers at his gay bar dealing with pressures of the outside world. And a third beats the pavement to promote political awareness about LGBTQ issues.

These are just some of the things five Baltimoreans the Baltimore Banner is profiling in honor of Baltimore Pride Month are doing in the fight for visibility, support and acceptance of their peers.

The rest of this article can be found on the Baltimore Banner’s website.

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Delaware

Delaware’s Sussex Pride launches free statewide HIV, STI testing

Special program honors National HIV Testing Day on June 27

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Each year on June 27, people across the United States are encouraged to get tested for HIV. This year for Delawareans, it’s easier than ever.

Sussex Pride has partnered with STDCheck to offer free HIV and syphilis testing everywhere in Delaware. There are more than 20 locations across the state, making it simple to find a testing center.  

David Mariner, executive director of Sussex Pride, told the Blade, “We are thrilled with this new partnership with STDcheck. The ultimate goal is to empower individuals with knowledge about their HIV status, provide necessary support, and facilitate early intervention to improve health outcomes in our state.”

Finding a testing center, getting tested, and getting results is simple. Start by finding a lab near you using this link (https://www.stdcheck.com/std-test-center.php). Then call STDcheck at 800-456-2323 and request a free Sussex Pride HIV and/or syphilis test. Make sure to mention Sussex Pride in the call to get the test for free. Then schedule a time and get tested. 

“If you are HIV positive, the sooner you know, the better,” Mariner added. “Early and sustained treatment can help you live a long and healthy life. It can also help protect others.”

This special program is in honor of National HIV Testing Day, created in 1995 to highlight the lifesaving impact of HIV testing. HIV has historically had a disproportionate effect on the LGBTQ community. According to the CDC, 70% of all new cases of HIV in 2021 were among gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men.

The CDC’s theme for this year’s HIV testing day is “Level up your self-love: check your status.” The theme emphasizes, “valuing yourself, showing yourself compassion and respect, and honoring your health needs with self-love,” and the best way to do that is to test.

For more information on Sussex Pride’s testing program visit sussexpride.org/posts/testing/ and for more information on HIV visit CDC.gov/hiv.

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