Twin sisters have gone to Montgomery County, Maryland, District Court to seek murder charges against three people they believe are responsible for the death of their brother 18 years ago.
The family of Tylandis Cortez Washington is frustrated that years of police investigations have failed to produce arrests in his killing, and his sisters have launched their own unusual quest for justice.
Washington was 22 years old when he was shot to death in Gaithersburg in September 2002. No one has ever been charged with the homicide. But his sisters said their brother’s acquaintances, who are still living in the community, are responsible for his death.
Takeya Brown and Nakeya Brown, both 36, have taken a procedural step commonly taken by police.
They have submitted documents to the court that seek an application for a statement of charges. The handwritten documents named three people they say should face conspiracy to murder charges in their brother’s death.
“My brother’s murderers need to be arrested today, yesterday, a long time ago they should have been arrested. My hope is that they will actually seek arrest warrants for these individuals,” said Takeya Brown, of Frederick, Maryland.
The family acknowledges that Washington had a criminal history, but they said that should not erase the family’s right to justice.
“The judicial system is here to protect and serve and to keep the people of the community safe … he had a criminal record; he was only 22 years old when he got killed … a lot of the knuckleheads out there did things, but that didn’t mean it was right for somebody to take his life,” Takeya Brown said.
Washington’s death has been the subject of two police investigations, in 2002 and later in 2015, but neither yielded charges.
“This is a rare and unusual circumstance, where a family files an application for Statement of Charges against the people they perceive to be the murderers of their loved one,” said Ramon Korionoff, spokesman for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office.
“This case predates the current state’s attorney. Multiple state’s attorneys have worked on this case and believe there is insufficient evidence in the past and at this time to bring charges,” Korionoff said.
But the family said they won’t stop fighting for justice in the 18-year-old homicide case.
“I want to know that these people are getting ready to be picked up, and they have to answer for what they did to my brother,” said Takeya Brown.