- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Trial proceedings began Monday afternoon for a Waldorf man accused of attempting to rob and shoot three men in May in Indian Head.
Kindall Devone Neale, 32, is standing trial for three attempted second-degree murder charges, along with a litany of weapons, assault and robbery charges, for a May 30 incident that occurred near the 100 block of Jenkins Drive. Neale also faces charges that stem from him allegedly threatening one of the men whom he attempted to rob that night.
Charles County Assistant State’s Attorney Francis J. Granados called the crime “a robbery that went horribly wrong” in his opening statement Monday in court. Granados walked the jury through the events of the night one by one. Three men had stopped off at a convenience store in the area before returning home to Jenkins Drive. They were sitting in a car, Granados said, when the driver heard a knock on his window and turned to see a gun pointed in his face. Another man pulled one of the victims from the car as Neale demanded they surrender what they had.
The man in the backseat, however, also had a gun on him and pointed it at Neale, but it jammed.
“That was when all hell breaks loose,” Granados said. Neale noticed the gun and ran off, firing six shots in the process, Granados said.
He did say the victim who possessed a gun of his own also was found with a sizable amount of marijuana.
“I’m not going to ask you to convict solely on that basis,” Granados said. “[The victim] has issues of his own.”
Granados went on to describe how Neale was later found in King George, Va., hiding in a closet in the home of an on-again, off-again girlfriend. A ski mask matching the one he supposedly wore during the crime and a gun also were found there.
While Neale was incarcerated, Granados said, he spoke on the phone with another girlfriend, who served as a liaison between him and a friend that he wanted to go pay a visit to one of the victims who knew him and could identify him. Neale told the woman to have it made clear to the victim that he should not testify in court.
“By the end of this ... it’s going to be clear,” Granados said. “It’s a robbery that went wrong. It turned from an attempted robbery to an attempted murder. It will be clear what [Neale’s] intent was: to kill them.”
Neale’s defense attorney, public defender Michael Beach, said his client has been “wrongly accused” in this matter.
“He may not have made some of the best associations,” Beach said of Neale. “The evidence is going to show that he didn’t attempt to rob or attempt to murder anyone.”
Beach called the motives of the three, particularly the one mentioned in the prison phone call, “self-serving.”
“You can wrap an old fish in newspaper, and it still stinks. At the end of the day, [the victim’s] story still stinks,” Beach said.
The trial was ongoing Tuesday and expected to last at least three or four days.