Update, 4:43 p.m.: Roosevelt Brockington, Jr., the victim of a Jan. 1 homicide at Suburban Hospital, was a family man who believed strongly in his faith, his father told reporters following the Wednesday evening conviction of Keith D. Little.
Little, of Lanham, was found guilty of first-degree murder in the killing by a jury Wednesday afternoon. Brockington was found stabbed over 70 times.
Brockington was a deacon and longtime congregant at St. John Church of God in Northeast Washington, said Roosevelt Brockington, Sr., where singing was one of his favorite activities. "He took his church responsibilities very seriously," said Brockington, of Bowie.
The morning of the murder at Suburban, Brockington, Jr. headed to work from St. John, after celebrating a New Year's Eve service there with friends and family.
Brockington was close with St. John's pastor, Dr. Sallie Bruce, and the two talked on the phone at least once a day, according to family. Bruce, who has suffered a stroke and uses a wheelchair, attended each day of Brockington's murder trial with his family.
Following the verdict, Bruce described Brockington as her "number one deacon."
"I don't think he deserved to die the way he did," said Bruce, 72.
"I don't think he felt those 72 stab wounds," Bruce said. "I think he died quickly. I don't think God would have allowed that."
"I beleived in my spirit he was going to be found guilty," Bruce said. "That's why I kept the faith."
Brockington's mother, Mary, and his sister, Rosalind, of Elkridge, also attended the trial daily.
"I just hope he comes to his senses," Bruce said, of Little. "I feel if they had let him go, he would have done it again."
Little was acquitted in 2006 for the 2003 killing of a co-worker in Washington, D.C.
Original Post, 4:08 p.m.: A Montgomery County jury today found Keith D. Little of Lanham guilty of killing his supervisor, Roosevelt Brockington, Jr., at Suburban Hospital Jan. 1.
Brockington was found stabbed more than 70 times in the hospital’s basement boiler room, where both men worked.
The jury began deliberations around 9:30 Wednesday morning and returned their verdict 4 p.m. They found him guilty of first-degree murder.
The prosecution argued throughout the trial, which began with jury selection Dec. 5, that Little hated Brockington because he changed his shift hours at work – forcing him to lose a lucrative second job – and gave him a negative performance review that rendered him ineligible for a raise.
They maintained the killing must have been an “inside job” – committed by someone who had keys to the boiler room area, knew how to avoid security cameras, and who knew Brockington’s work schedule.
Little was seen by another boiler room employee, Charles Jackson, washing a pair of gloves and a mask in the boiler room Jan. 5. The prosecution argued that Brockington’s blood was found on a stain of one of the gloves, but expert witness and forensic biologist Erin Farr was disallowed from presenting that opinion to the jury following contradictory test results on the stain.
Not allowing the jury to hear Farr’s opinion on the blood would Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy argued during a motions hearing last week as the jury waited outside the courtroom.
Arguing for Little’s innocence, the defense countered that there was no evidence presented at trial that the stain was blood and no connection between the gloves and mask found Jan. 5 and the Jan. 1 murder.
Little, they said, was going about his job by disposing of trash in an atmosphere of suspicion and paranoia at work following the murder. A wide array of people, including current and former hospital employees, could have had access to the boiler room that day, the defense argued.
The defense also called witness Gus Sandonas to the stand, a Suburban Hospital neighbor who saw a masked man walking away from the hospital the morning of the murder who he said didn’t match Little’s description.