Corey Moore: A Defendant (Again)
A few months back, I ran into Corey Moore in Takoma. He was driving down Piney Branch one afternoon when he saw me and hollered. He pulled over. His teenage son rode shotgun. He had another smaller boy in the back seat of his SUV. I hadn't seen him in years. He told me he was working—or trying to work—as a photographer. He then whipped out a huge SLR.
It was an interesting choice for a man who had grown up under heavy law-enforcement scrutiny. He'd spent more time sitting before a jury as a defendant than he probably ever did in school. He almost always walked away a free man. Most famously, he'd been tried for the same murder four times; every time, the jury hung. I wrote a particularly overly poetic cover story on Moore after the fourth hung jury. (No editor should ever tell me to "go epic.") His last case, a federal drug and conspiracy case, he beat in 2006. I popped in during the opening statements and saw Moore again at the defendants' table. He looked old, maybe even tired.
During our curbside reunion, Moore said he was also working on a documentary about his life. I assumed he wanted to set the record straight; he particularly hated the hype around him. He didn't like being celebrated as a thug or killer that got over. He saw himself as a victim of injustice and police overreaching. He gave me his number. He wanted help with his documentary.
So it was a little shocking to see the words "Teflon Defendant" appear on A1 of the Washington Post this weekend.
This time Moore had been stopped in Takoma Park for allegedly drinking in public. After he was caught, police claim they found a whole lot of cocaine. Later, officers found in Moore's apartment a gallon of liquid PCP, a loaded Smith & Wesson, a semi-automatic, and $44,000. Like every other arrest, Moore appears to be in some serious hot water.
Of course, as soon as I finished reading the Post story, I already started thinking up Moore's defense. For one: I don't think Moore drinks. It seems implausible that Moore would be walking around with a bottle of booze. He always styled himself as not your average alleged criminal. He always made sure to dress well. He is a strict vegetarian or vegan. He seemed good with his kids. He saw intoxicants as distractions, or worse.
In the Post piece, Moore's attorney assured that his client would be vindicated. I don't doubt it.