Mur­der sus­pect not guilty in par­tial ver­dict

Pros­e­cu­tors plan to retry him

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AN­DREW RICHARD­SON arichard­son@somd­

The jury re­turned only a par­tial ver­dict Tues­day, find­ing Ray­mond Daniel Posey III, ac­cused of mur- de­r­ing a wo­man in Nan­je­moy in 2011, not guilty on nine of 13 counts, in­clud­ing first-de­gree mur­der.

How­ever, Posey, 24, of Nan­je­moy re­mains on a no bond sta­tus cur­rently, and the state plans to retry him on the re­main­ing counts that the jury could not agree upon: con­spir­acy to com­mit first-de­gree mur- der, which car­ries a life sen­tence, sec­ond-de­gree mur­der, rob­bery and con­spir­acy to com­mit rob­bery.

With lim­ited phys­i­cal and bi­o­log­i­cal ev­i­dence, the case pre­sented by as­sis­tant state’s at­tor­neys Fran­cis Grana­dos and Jonathan Beattie re­lied heav­ily on wit­ness tes­ti­mony from friends of Posey and two in­mates, who said he con­fessed to the killing, and ev­i­dence that may in­di­cate

a con­scious­ness of guilt, in­clud­ing a sui­cide at- tempt around the time the skele­tal re­mains of Crys­tal An­der­son, 29, were found near Purse State Park, and his nu­mer­ous com­mu­ni­ca­tions with wit­nesses from jail, in which he seemed to of­fer thou­sands of dol- lars to cer­tain peo­ple to not tes­tify against him.

Per­haps the strong­est ev­i­dence against Posey though was a state­ment made by his co-de­fen­dant Dar­rayl John Wil- son, 25, that the jur y was not per­mit­ted to hear be­cause the de­fense would not have an op­por­tu­nity to cross-ex­am­ine him, as he awaits his own trial sched­uled to be­gin Mon­day. Dur­ing a mo­tion’s hear­ing out­side the jury’s pres­ence, Grana­dos prof­fered that dur­ing his third in­ter­view with po­lice, Wil­son told in­ves­ti­ga­tors he had been in the car while Posey shot An­der­son, a much dif­fer­ent story than what both de­fen­dants ini­tially told po­lice, that they had dropped An­der­son off in Forestville that night. The pros­e­cu­tors were only al­lowed to tell the jury that Wil­son’s alibi story changed.

Had the jury known the sub­stance of Wil­son’s state­ment, it would have added con­text to the re­peated at­tempts made by Posey to com­muni- cate with him from the Charles County De­ten­tion Cen­ter by phone, his di­rec­tions to a third-par- ty to con­tact Wil­son, and a note in­tended for Wil­son that was inter- cepted by cor­rec­tional of­fi­cers, a trans­ac­tion that was also cap­tured on sur­veil­lance video. In one recorded jail­house call, Posey seemed to in­struct a wo­man to send him a text, “I know what you said … don’t do that” and “fol­low the code.” In the note, “I stuck to the story … don’t talk about noth­ing over the phone.”

The state be­lieves that on the night of July 26, 2011, the de­fen­dants drove An­der­son from a house party in Nan­je­moy to Prince Ge­orge’s County, where she picked up PCP from her sup­plier, a drug she reg­u­larly sold and used, be­fore they re­turned to the area and robbed her, shot her to death, and threw her body over a guardrail, down a ravine. Posey, they be­lieve, was in part mo­ti­vated by a $2,000 drug debt owed to An­der­son by Posey’s brother, and her at­tempts to seek him out.

She re­mained miss­ing un­til Jan. 2, 2012 when an un­sus­pect­ing hiker stum­bled upon a boot with her leg bone pro­trud­ing. In the fol­low­ing days, spe­cial­ized K-9s helped po­lice re­cover more bones, a lit­tle more than half of An­der­son’s skele­tal re­mains, though no cause of death could be de­ter­mined by med­i­cal ex­am­in­ers. Of the re­mains re­cov­ered, there were no signs of in­jury. No mur­der weapon or shell cas­ings were ever found.

Af­ter nearly four years of in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Posey was ar­rested at his fam­ily’s Nan­je­moy home, in­dicted by a grand jury in March 2015, and Wil­son was in­dicted in July 2015.

Through­out the trial, his de­fense team, headed by Kevin Collins and Chase John­son, ar­gued that the state be­came in­tent on build­ing a case against Posey, rather than con­duct­ing an ob­jec­tive in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and, be­cause of her high­risk life­style as a PCP dealer, that there were sev­eral other sus­pects who would have had a mo­tive to kill An­der­son. The de­fense also noted the pos­si­bil­ity of a drug over­dose, as her cause of death could not be de­ter­mined through au­topsy.

Posey elected not to tes­tify.

In ad­di­tion to the re­main­ing counts in the mur­der case, Posey also faces a May 2016 in­dict- ment in which he was charged with 28 counts re­lated to wit­ness tam­per­ing, in­clud­ing nine felonies.

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