Jury: Hitman Jermaine Washington guilty of killing Dorian Colston in 2018

Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 2:41 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 20, 2023 at 9:04 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Jermaine Washington, Jr., hired to kill Dorian Colston in 2018, was found guilty as charged Thursday night of first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The verdict came at 8:30 p.m. after four hours of deliberations.

Prosecutors say Washington was paid $3000 for killing Colston July 4, 2018. Colston was shot eight times.

“I don’t think it’s a surprise that it took them that long because they had a lot of GPS maps and a lot of maps as it related to phone records and so they had a tough task. But at the end of the day, they came to the right conclusion,” said Calcasieu Assistant D.A. Charles Robinson.

Defense attorney Pride Doran argued that there was no direct evidence that Washington squeezed the trigger of the gun and that they should not rush to judgement.

But Robinson told jurors money was everything to Washington and that he was the one who lured Colston out to the place he would be killed. Prosecutors used cell tower data that convinced the jury Washington was at the murder scene when the killing happened and at the storm drain where the gun was tossed.

“The phone evidence showed that the person using the phone who was the defendant was at the murder scene at the time the murder was committed. But on so many different levels it proved and corroborated what the witnesses said about when he was paid to do it and when he showed up to collect the money and things like that, all the other little aspects of the case. So, really the phone evidence in this case helped prove every aspect of it,” said Robinson.

As required, the verdict was unanimous.

Doran says they are disappointed in the verdict. Sentencing is set for July 21. Any pre-sentence motions such as a request for a new trial will be heard on July 19.

Earlier, Doran aggressively cross examined the case agent. The defense brought up information aimed at raising doubt whether Washington was the one who shot and killed Dorian Colston, or whether it was his associate, Karrington “KeKe” Henry.

Henry took the stand and testified he drove Washington to the scene and witnessed flashes from the gun when it was fired inside Colston’s car. Colston was shot eight times. Henry is also the one who told authorities a couple weeks ago where the gun was tossed back in 2018, and it was recovered from a storm drain.

Though Washington’s phone pinged at cell towers near the killing, the defense brought out it could be because his mother’s house is in that area, and she had a house fire the same night as the killing in 2018.

Washington decided to not take the stand in his own defense, and the defense did not call any witnesses.

In closing arguments, the state argued the case was all about money - money paid to Washington to execute a hit on Colston.

Doran told jurors there were too many uncertainties, and it’s not their job to solve the crime. They should weigh the evidence, and lack thereof.

The jury went out just before 4:30 p.m.