Redemption and Love For The Maslins

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While T.C. Maslin lie brutalized and unconscious a short distance from where he was severely beaten and robbed in the posh Eastern Market shopping sector in D.C., his attackers, a trio of thugs, Tommy Branch 21, Michael Moore 18 and 17 year-old Sunny Kuti continued their savage spree, assaulting and robbing a second victim; this time in the Adams Morgan neighborhood. Fleeing that scene with police in pursuit, Kuti tossed a BB gun into a bush. The gun was recovered by cops during the ensuing arrest.

Also recovered in their possession, a dead cell phone with a missing SIM card. Turns out, the phone was Maslin’s. Processed for the second assault, the youths were subsequently released and electronically monitored and supervised pending trial. Shelved, bagged and tagged, Maslin’s cell phone sat in an evidence lockup room awaiting discovery.

Weeks later, after receiving a tip identifying Branch as the owner of the 2005 silver Hyundai Sonata seen on the surveillance video featuring blurry images of the culprits attempting to buy gas using Maslin’s credit card, police were able to extract text messages to Maslin’s wife Abigail from the anonymous cell phone still in their custody.

The vehicle in question was recovered from a parking lot near where Branch lived, and all three were arrested, and confessed to the crime Wednesday night. “I don’t know the men who did this,” writes Maslin’s wife Abigail on her blog in a recent post titled, “Justice,” “I don’t even care to utter their pathetic names. But I do look forward to the day I get to look their cowardly faces in their eyes and tell them who I am.” In a heart wrenching soliloquy, Maslin’s wife ticks off a ghastly itinerary of tasks that have come to partly define who she’s had to become, “I’m the one who had to sign those terrifying consent forms allowing doctors to cut open her husband’s skull and perform surgery on his brain. I’m the one who’s filled out pages of disability forms, and read book after book about brain injury and neurology. I am the one who has been present for each and every moment of this unending hell.”

Kuti, the youngest of the three, will be tried as an adult. There is a scrubbed, or rarely used Face Book page belonging to a Sunny Kuti from the D.C. area. This Kuti is listed as having attended D.C.’s H.D. Woodson High School. A cursory search online also reveals a basketball recruiting profile for a Sunny Kuti attending Woodson H.S.

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