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Posted: 8/13/2007 12:06:10 AM EDT
You want "Stop Snitching"? How about a letter imploring witness intimidation sent to the wrong address. Montgomery Slaying Suspect's Own Hand Helps Seal His Fate

By Ernesto Londoño
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 10, 2007; B01



By the time the letter marked "Return to Sender" was opened by an employee at the Montgomery County jail, prosecutors had assembled a strong case against Quinton J. Thomas: They had the cooperation of a woman who said she helped Thomas plan a robbery, and they had cellphone records that appeared to place Thomas near the Germantown parking lot where the victim of that planned robbery was fatally shot.

Things looked so bad for Thomas, in fact, that his attorney had been urging him to consider pleading guilty to first-degree murder. Irritated, Thomas wrote a friend to complain about the attorney, Barry Helfand.

"Is this cracker stupid or he workin wit da state," Thomas wrote in profanity-laced, handwritten, four-page letter postmarked April 20. "I aint taken no plea to M1, ya hear me! They still Dont got no gun, eye witness, DNA, balistics, nothin."

What they did have, after it was returned to its sender, was the letter. On Tuesday, a Montgomery jury found Thomas, 22, guilty of murder and other crimes in connection with the Dec. 27, 2005, slaying of Stephen W. Kelley, 20, of Gaithersburg.

In the letter, Thomas asked his friend, a District resident, to keep a potential witness from testifying at his trial. "This white [expletive] can't make it to court on May 7 through May 12, ya feel me," Thomas wrote. "I don't care what you gotta do, you don't even gotta stink the cracker, he just cant make it to Rockville that whole week Homie."

Thomas told the letter's recipient what to do if he ran across the witness or others Thomas viewed as potentially damaging. "Man put they [expletive] IN THE DIRT, REAL TALK," he wrote.

The jail does not generally read inmates' outgoing mail, but it routinely screens incoming mail for contraband. After it was intercepted, the letter Thomas wrote was faxed to the Montgomery state's attorney's office May 2.

Prosecutors added three new counts -- one of solicitation to commit murder and two of witness intimidation -- to the original indictment that charged Thomas with first-degree murder, attempted armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. The jury convicted him of all counts after deliberating for about seven hours. Sentencing is set for Oct. 15.

In the letter, Thomas wrote that the witness he was most concerned about, a Howard University student, had told detectives that "he gave me the pump and shells."

Thomas wrote that he had found a way to explain the cellphone evidence: "Dae got some phone calls sayin I was in the area around the time he got smoked but I got my man sayin he had my phone cause he live around the same spot. So I aint trippin on that."

Helfand successfully argued that he ought to be recused from the case because remarks in the letter had unwittingly made him a potential witness.

After that letter came to light, Thomas was segregated from the general population at the jail and lost his letter-writing privilege. Jail officials later caught him trying to slip another inmate a note to mail, prosecutors said.

After the letter was intercepted, detectives searched Thomas's cell and his girlfriend's home. They found other letters, in which Thomas asked his girlfriend to falsely testify that he was with her at home the morning Kelley was killed, according to prosecutors.

In one of the confiscated letters, the girlfriend discussed her upcoming testimony as an alibi witness. "First of all, I didn't say I wasn't coming to court. I only said something about purgury. To answer your question . . . no I do not feel uncomfortable, I am ready for court . . . I would die for you."

Marc G. Hall, who represented Thomas at trial, said: "It was a very difficult case. He and his family are very disappointed by the outcome."

Hall said Thomas testified that he wrote the letters because "he had become very frustrated and he felt all these people were lying about his involvement." Thomas has denied "that he was asking anyone to harm anyone," he said.

According to police, the night before Kelley was shot, in the 18400 block of Stone Hollow Drive in the Stoneridge townhouse community, Thomas announced that he was going to "rob a white boy named Steve." Earlier, he had asked people if they "knew of any white boys he could rob," according to a police charging document.

Kelley drove to the parking lot in Germantown with Keisha Branscomb, who would later plead guilty to second-degree murder and testify that she believed she was setting Kelley up for a robbery. Kelley was hoping to buy drugs from Thomas that morning, Branscomb said.


Colonel Hurtz
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 12:08:43 AM EDT
Well I guess he did something right, if he meant to or not.

Link Posted: 8/13/2007 12:13:35 AM EDT
I sure would be nice if he'd at least sue proper spelling and grammar! If the letter isn't legible can it still be use in court?
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 12:17:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By killswitch1982:
I sure would be nice if he'd at least sue proper spelling and grammar! If the letter isn't legible can it still be use in court?


Poor spelling only makes it inadmissable in the court of ARFCOM.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 12:47:10 AM EDT
Send him to spelling grammar prison!

Grammatik Macht Frei!
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 12:55:13 AM EDT
Quinton J. Thomas . . . an idiot extraordinaire.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 1:00:07 AM EDT
I have never filed a murder 1 charge by finding something like this. But I have gotten witness tampering and unlawful possession charges filed.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 4:55:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By killswitch1982:
I sure would be nice if he'd at least sue proper spelling and grammar! If the letter isn't legible can it still be use in court?
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 5:01:07 AM EDT
Too funny.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 5:03:41 AM EDT
The newspaper write up was awfully generous with the translation. I know the letter shows ballistics clearly written with a "P".
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 5:05:01 AM EDT
"Dae", "Murda1"


Wow.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 5:05:08 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 5:08:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ColonelHurtz:

"He and his family are very disappointed by the outcome."



"He wassa goot boy, he ain't done nuffin'!"

Link Posted: 8/13/2007 5:23:17 AM EDT


Link Posted: 8/13/2007 5:30:42 AM EDT


Th-th-th-th-th-that's all folks!
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 5:36:54 AM EDT
Dumb criminals make it easy.

Link Posted: 8/13/2007 5:41:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:
The newspaper write up was awfully generous with the translation. I know the letter shows ballistics clearly written with a "P".


You be unfamiliar with palistics?
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 5:47:36 AM EDT
Hate crime?

I know....I know...only works one way.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 5:48:46 AM EDT
Who dae?
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 5:52:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BenDover:
Who dae iz?


Fixed.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 5:59:32 AM EDT
Dae is da man.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 6:17:15 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 6:27:31 AM EDT
"Murda 1"
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 6:31:52 AM EDT
At least he spelled DNA correctly.

Colonel Hurtz
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 6:38:50 AM EDT
Read a book, Brush your teef, buy some land
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 7:08:01 AM EDT
Typical.

Lots of smart, clear thinking people in jails.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 7:12:57 AM EDT
WTF IS PALISTICS?
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 7:23:13 AM EDT
Remember this next time you see some family talking about how innocent their loved one behind bards is....

Yes, there may indeed be some people wrongly convicted....but the bottom line is that 99.9999% of the people we have in jail are exactly like this moron.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 7:32:21 AM EDT
OMFG

that happened less than 500 yards from my house. I drive by that intersection a few times a week. The community is called "Criminal Woods" by the locals. Teh real name is "Cinnnamon Woods."

Approximately 1 year ago a girl was gang raped by 4 males in that community.

It's literally 500 yards from 500k homes.

It dosen't even look that bad, just town homes, but it's predominantly black and has a lot of section 8 housing voucher residents.



Link Posted: 8/13/2007 7:35:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mcculver5:
Typical.

Lots of smart, clear thinking people in jails.


Yeah... we screen (read) all the inmate incomming/outgoing mail.
It's amazing what they'll write even when they know we read it... I think maybe they write crazy/stupid sh** just to make us wonder.. WTF?

Most of the time it's just stupid BS, but there have been occaisions where inmate mail has become "evidence".
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 7:45:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ColonelHurtz:
Thomas announced that he was going to "rob a white boy named Steve." Earlier, he had asked people if they "knew of any white boys he could rob," according to a police charging document.

And this isn't a hate crime.....why?
If this was a white guy looking for "black guys" to rob, and killed one, the cops would be all over the hate crime aspects. Outraged community, News at 5, Jesse Jackson, the whole nine.
The new racism and the political correctness makes me want to puke.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 7:48:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By cammobunker:

Originally Posted By ColonelHurtz:
Thomas announced that he was going to "rob a white boy named Steve." Earlier, he had asked people if they "knew of any white boys he could rob," according to a police charging document.

And this isn't a hate crime.....why?
If this was a white guy looking for "black guys" to rob, and killed one, the cops would be all over the hate crime aspects. Outraged community, News at 5, Jesse Jackson, the whole nine.
The new racism and the political correctness makes me want to puke.

Yeah, all this hate against guys named Steve has to stop. Steves have always seemed like regular people to me.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 7:54:53 AM EDT
No, he targeted the individual after he stated he was going to rob "a white boy" The chosen easy mark, Steve, was picked because someone was willing to lead him into the 'hood. He would have done Bob, Joe or Tom, as long as bob, Tom or Joe were white. Strictly random, chosen by some else being acquainted with the victim and the victim being white.
Then he killed him but failed to rob him. So he really just felt like killing a white guy. Odds are that Keisha would not have led Steve to the 'hood if she knew that she was leading him to his death. Or, maybe she would, hard to say.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 7:59:11 AM EDT
take him to the soccer field and behead him.. sofort!
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 8:14:54 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 9:13:52 AM EDT
Montgomery County, MD is the 15th wealthiest county in the United States.

Colonel Hurtz
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 9:15:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/13/2007 9:15:52 AM EDT by POOR_MAN]

Originally Posted By hellbound:
WTF IS PALISTICS?


Well you see, when a Palestinian blows his self up, scientists use ballistics to measure the speed, velocity and impact of each chunk of the Palestinian, thus it's called Palistics.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 10:06:00 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 10:06:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By cammobunker:
No, he targeted the individual after he stated he was going to rob "a white boy" The chosen easy mark, Steve, was picked because someone was willing to lead him into the 'hood. He would have done Bob, Joe or Tom, as long as bob, Tom or Joe were white. Strictly random, chosen by some else being acquainted with the victim and the victim being white.
Then he killed him but failed to rob him. So he really just felt like killing a white guy. Odds are that Keisha would not have led Steve to the 'hood if she knew that she was leading him to his death. Or, maybe she would, hard to say.


This area isn't the hood, just townhomes from the 80s. Lots of white kids playing delinquent and mixing it up with the D.C. transplants. As "Col. Hurtz." stated, it's one of the wealthiest counties in the country. These kids fall by the wayside of the otherwise affluent community.



Link Posted: 8/13/2007 10:09:37 AM EDT
Well played POOR MAN!

Colonel Hurtz
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