Man who worked to make DC safer returns to prison after murder charge

A D.C. man who was leading a team of violence interrupters for the city is now facing a second-degree murder charge for a man’s killing back in 2017.

Cotey Wynn, 39, was arrested on a warrant last week for second-degree murder while armed in the Feb. 17, 2017 killing of Eric Wright.

Multiple witnesses described seeing a man who matches Wynn’s 5-foot-6-inch, 200-pound body type walking around the area moments before and after hearing four gunshots ring out on the street, according to charging documents.

One witness recognized Wynn’s “frame, face, walk and size,” according to documents. They said his phone, which D.C. Police tracked from cell towers, placed him near the crime scene at the time of the killing.

A medical examiner found Wright was murdered, shot three times, once through the heart, the documents said.

It’s unclear how Wright and Wynn knew each other or what the motive might be. Yet, nearly four years after the crime, an anonymous source came forward claiming he recognized Wynn from surveillance video D.C. Police shared on its YouTube channel from the killing.

That prompted the warrant for Wynn’s arrest.

A judge ordered Wynn held until his preliminary hearing on Christmas Eve.

Wynn was employed by the District’s Cure the Streets program at the time of his arrest. It is meant to identify tensions in some of the city’s toughest communities and employ well-known members of those communities to speak to the main players and disrupt violence before it begins.

He compared being incarcerated to being locked in a bathroom in his biography on the Cure the Streets webpage.

“Go in your bathroom, lock the door, and stay in there all day — because that’s what I had to go through for ten years,” Wynn said in his biography. “And that’s where I had to lay.”

Wynn, who was supervising a team of six interrupters in the Trinidad neighborhood of Northeast, said he decided to turn his life around and begin thinking positive after his release in 2014.

Prosecutors argued he lost that desire to stay out of trouble.

In a statement to WTOP, Attorney General for D.C. Karl Racine’s office said it is aware of Wynn’s arrest and noted the alleged crime occurred prior to his employment with Cure the Streets.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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