RadioOnFire.com – U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur talked to C4 on Thursday about a recent witness intimidation case. He was joined by the two assistant U.S. attorneys who prosecuted the case.
Last month, a federal jury convicted Davon Carter and Clifton Mosley in the 2016 killing of Latrina Ashburne, whom they mistakenly believed was a witness in a case against a friend of Carter. Both men face a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
“It really demonstrates our commitment to the principle that if you go after a witness, if you try to retaliate, intimidate, eliminate a witness, we are not going to stand for it and we are going to bring you to justice, period,” Hur said.
The case began as an investigation into health care fraud by Carter’s friend Matthew Hightower, and investigators from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services stayed with the case through the convictions of Carter and Mosley. Witnesses were critical in closing the case.
“It is a real challenge for us sometimes, in order to get people to be willing to come forward and share information,” Hur said. “Video surveillance camera footage can be critical evidence. So can body-worn footage evidence. Cellphone electronic records are critical evidence, too, but really I can’t overstate the importance sometimes that you need good people to come forward and share with law enforcement the information in order to bring killers and violent criminals to justice.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Wilkinson said the community was particularly moved by Ashburne’s killing.
“She was such an amazing woman and the information that came out in trial about her just solidified our inspiration to make sure that this prosecution happened but, more importantly, the community was affected by her story as well,” Wilkinson said.
Hur briefly touched on the Wednesday shooting of a Baltimore City detective and a Baltimore County detective who were working as part of a federal warrant apprehension task force. Both were federally deputized, Hur said.
“It really brings home, I hope it brings home in a very powerful way … how dangerous the job of law enforcement is but particularly warrant apprehension,” Hur said. “When you go out to execute a warrant, particularly for a violent crime, you really don’t know what’s going to greet you on the other side of that door.”