Updated: November 13, 2012 at 12:00 am
Prosecutors on Tuesday rested their case against a man accused of ordering the August 2011 murder of a Colorado Springs homeless man who was hacked to death and dumped in a ravine south of downtown.
The case against Roger Julius “Brooklyn” Glover, 36, will go to a jury for deliberations Wednesday after closing arguments.
Also homeless, Glover arrived in Colorado Springs in 2011 boasting of New York City gang ties — a claim that quickly translated to influence on the streets, according to prosecution witnesses who knew him from the homeless community.
Whether Glover actually belonged to a gang is unclear. A Colorado Springs police detective testified that New York police couldn’t corroborate the claim. Glover has tattoos suggestive of gang activity, the detective said.
The trial’s evidence phase drew to a close Tuesday after the testimony of 18-year-old Kristan Marie McEntee, a former runaway who told jurors she was at a downtown bus station when Glover ordered her then-fiancee Jordan Rowland to carry out a hit — or “green light” — on victim William Mickle.
“Mr. Glover wanted evidence the job was done,” McEntee told a jury, saying Glover threatened to kill both her and Rowland if he didn’t comply.
McEntee said Glover ordered the hit because he believed Mickle had been “snitching” to police about drug dealing and other activities in Acacia Park, which she called “the most famous place to hang out.”
“Everyone looked at him as a leader,” McEntee said of Glover, saying he was perceived as “powerful” and “a higher person.”
Anthony Loffredo testified last week that Glover was angry that Mickle had landed one of his friends in jail on suspicion of domestic violence.
Mickle, 20, was found brutally slain Aug. 17 in a wooded area near the Sienna Place Apartments on Lenmar Drive south of downtown, the victim of more than 20 chop wounds to the head, face and neck.
Rowland, 20, was arrested later the same day with a human finger in his pocket — allegedly the evidence Glover had required. McEntee, who was detained along with Rowland, said she wasn’t aware Rowland had a finger in his pocket — though she told police otherwise when first interviewed.
Glover’s defense attorney, Cynthia McKedy, picked at other inconsistencies in McEntee’s account and questioned her motives for implicating Glover, noting that McEntee told a friend she wanted to protect Rowland.
Pressed to explain, McEntee said her loyalty to Rowland dissipated once she accepted that he tried to blame her for the killing. Police say Rowland claimed that she supplied him with Mickle’s severed finger.
Rowland, who police say was storing the finger in a wad of paper napkins, also claimed to police that he had inadvertently put on another man’s pants.
The defense also emphasized Facebook messages in which another man repeatedly asks Glover about the status of his “green light” on Mickle. The writer of those messages refers to friend who allegedly agreed to “take care” of Mickle, though the message was sent after Mickle’s death.
McKedy argued in opening statements that prosecutors lack physical evidence against Glover and are instead relying on “street stories” traded among the homeless, the mentally ill and the drug-addicted.
McEntee, who at 18 could easily pass for several years younger, testified that she was driven from her Colorado Springs home because of a tumultuous relationship with her mother.
On the streets, she adopted fellow members of the homeless community — Mickle included — as her “brothers” and “sisters.”
“Whether I have something that’s troubling me, or they do, we stick together,” she said.
Closing arguments are expected at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Contact Lance Benzel: 636-0366 Twitter @lancebenzel
Facebook Gazette Lance Benzel