South Capitol Street murder trial: Details arise about relations

The bracelet that Sanquan Carter, a suspect in the shootings, allegedly got angry over losing. (Photo: Department of Justice)

During two days of testimony at his D.C. Superior Court trial, Andre Morgan, 21, sat with hands and leg shackled in the witness chair and told the jury his story.

He said he loved murder victim Jordan Howe. They had been more than friends, god-brothers "since we were toddlers." When they were 11 and 12 years old, their mothers had been best friends and team mothers of the Pop Warner football team, the Woodland Tigers.

Morgan said the football team is where he and Howe met and befriended the brothers now accused in the murder of Howe, Sanquan Carter, 21, and his brother Orlando Carter, 22.

Morgan said Sanquan Carter was so close to Jordan Howe that he called Howe's mother Diane Howe, "Ma."

But from Morgan's account, all of a sudden on March 22, 2010 Sanquan Orlando were shooting at him, Howe and other friends outside the apartment building at 1331 Alabama Ave. SE where he lived with his mother.

Under questioning from the prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Brittin, Morgan said he had not seen Sanquan for some time when he ran into him outside Howe's building that previous Friday.

Carter had gotten a haircut. They hung out together, split the cost of a bottle of wine and drank together.

The next day Morgan said they got together again. He said they dropped by a said hello to Orlando{ } on the street, then went by Sanquan's mother's house where Morgan waited in Sanquan's bedroom while the other man took a shower.

After the shower, Sanquan pulled outfits from trash bags, showing them to him, Morgan said, and at one point pulled out this bracelet with fake diamonds, some of them missing.

Carter had access to a car, so together they gave some girls a ride from the Anacostia Metro station, later went to a club and brought some girls they'd picked up back to Jordan's apartment building. They had sex with them in a neighbor's unit.

Morgan told the prosecutor he did not know the girls names.

The next day, Morgan said he walked the girls to the Metro. He and Jordan then spent the rest of the day together. Diane Howe, Jordan's mother, gave her son money to have his cell phone turned back on so they went to the Alabama Avenue Cricket store and paid the bill.

Morgan said he then went by his home and "hit up" his grandfather. Asked what that meant, a giggling Morgan said he stole the jar in which his grandfather kept change and then he and Howe went to a liquor store and went half and half on a bottle.

Later that day, he said Sanquan was back with them at the neighbor's apartment when Carter noticed his bracelet was missing. Prosecutors say Carter had taken it off while having sex with a 15-year-old girl in the apartment, and another girl who was in the room pocketed the bracelet.

Morgan said Sanquan was extremely angry believing one of the men at the apartment building had stolen it.

He said Carter asked{ } to use a cell phone to call his brother. Morgan testified he heard Sanquan say, "Man they stole my sh**. Bring everything!" Minutes later, Morgan testified, Orlando drove up in a car with two other people inside.

Sanquan walked to the passenger side where Morgan said he saw Orlando hand his brother what looked like a handgun. He said he then saw Orlando get out of the car with a rifle and one of passengers got out armed as well.

With gun in hand, Morgan said Sanquan walked up to men standing outside the building saying, "Where's the bracelet?"

But as Sanquan tried pat down him and other men and tried to feel their pockets, Morgan said, they refused to be search and smacked his hand away.

According to Morgan, Sanquan then said, "Nobody gone give me my bracelet?" He then allegedly shouted a profanity, backed up and opened fire on the group of people standing there. Orlando then opened fired with his assault rifle, Morgan said.

Everyone was scrambling their lives, Morgan said, and Jordan, who was sitting in a car at the time, was killed.

Two other men were wounded in the shooting. Morgan said when gunfire shattered a glass window behind him, he fled through that opening in to the building.

He said he's convinced that Sanquan started shooting because he was angry when nobody would let him search them. After the Carter's fled the scene, Morgan said saw Jordan slumped in the car.

Morgan ran to him, he said, and saw that his hands were covered with Howe’s blood. He then ran the nearby home of a relative to get a ride to go find a gun to avenge his friend's death, he said.

He didn't immediately get a gun, but he said, he met with other friends and relatives of Howe to plot to kill Sanquan and Orlando.

Within hours, police had Sanquan in custody for Howe's murder. But they did have enough information to also arrest Orlando. Later that day, Orlando was standing outside a barbershop at Sixth and Chesapeake streets SE when the group organized by Morgan found him.

Morgan said one in that group, Marquis Hicks, who Jordan's half-brother, walked upon Orlando and started pulling the trigger of a handgun that would not fire the first two times.

A bullet grazed Orlando's head on the third trigger pull. The fourth shot left a bullet lodged in Carter's shoulder. Hicks then fled.

Carter survived and a week later his got his revenge, prosecutors said, by shooting mourners from Howe's funeral who were gathered at South Capitol and Brandywine streets SE.

Three people were killed and six were wounded in the incident. Orlando and others were later arrested after a high speed chase by police.

Now, they, along with three of Orlando's friends implicated in the shootings, are on trial for the deaths and injuries.

Morgan, in an unrelated case, was arrested for the armed robbery of three people in July 2010 and has been sentenced to 30 years in prison. Defense attorneys argued that Morgan is just saying what the prosecutor wants to hear so that he can avoid more times in this case.

Outside the courtroom, Norman Williams, Jordan's{ } father, expressed his outrage, "to know that my son is dead over a bracelet that he didn't know nothing about."

"Some girl showed up with it a couple of days after he was murdered (and gave it to police)," Williams said. "Not only was my son murdered, four other kids were murdered over a bracelet that they didn't know about."