Supreme Court to hear appeal of 1984 murder case

SCOTUS hears appeal in Fuller murder case

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - She was a mother of six who was beaten to death in a garage.

Eight young men went to jail and were found guilty of first-degree murder.

This is what happened to Catherine Fuller.

The crime happened in October 1984 and on Thursday, it's back in the headlines.

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of the men convicted, who still claim they're innocent.

RELATED: SCOTUS to hear notorious 1984 D.C. murder case

This all happened at 8th and H Streets in Northeast, D.C. An area that, back then, was virtually desolate. But, now -- it's one of the city's big nightlife districts.

The murder 32 years ago made the Northeast, D.C. corner synonymous with brutal gang-related crime.

Prosecutors convicted eight members of the so called “8th and H crew” in Fuller’s murder, but now the Supreme Court is taking another look at those convictions.

The sexual assault and murder of a 48-year-old mother of six captivated Washington for weeks on end in 1984, as the District followed every twist and turn in the trial on television.

Police arrested members of a loose-knit gang called the “8th and H Crew,” and charged ten teens and twenty-somethings with Fuller’s murder. Prosecutors convicted eight, all sentenced to lengthy prison terms.

But years later, after two men involved recanted their testimony, the Innocence Project started digging into the case and found the government had withheld evidence they should have shared with the defense.

The most damning evidence not disclosed: the identity of another man seen running away from the murder scene, another possible suspect.

"In discovery we found out he was someone who had been committing robberies in alleys in the area, either on his own or with one other person," said Shawn Armbusrt with the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project. "And today he is serving life without parole for another murder and a sodomy of a small woman in an alley in northeast about three blocks from where the murder of Catherine Fuller took place."

The Supreme Court will now decide if that prosecutorial error and others should be cause to throw out the men’s convictions.

Chris Turner, the only man convicted of the murder to have completed his sentence, has always maintained his innocence.

"Its still baffling to me that they believe that, you know, I could do something like that to another human being," said Turner. 

There’s no date set yet for the Supreme Court’s hearing on this case. Whenever they meet it will be too late for Steven Webb, one of the men convicted of the murder, who died in prison. The six other men convicted in the crime are still incarcerated.


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