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Lawyer Insists Murder Case "Not About Dog Poop" | News

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Lawyer Insists Murder Case "Not About Dog Poop"

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) Dog poop or dog attack?

Two totally different stories are emerging following the Sunday morning stabbing death of a man in DC's Penn Branch neighborhood.

Some witnesses say Ellsworth Colbert killed a neighbor over dog waste left in his yard.  But Colbert's lawyer said Monday afternoon that story is totally wrong.

Colbert, a 57 year old Navy vet, shuffled into the DC courtroom head down in handcuffs and leg irons and pleaded not guilty to second degree murder.

He's accused of killing Robert Wright because the dog Wright was walking had left feces in his front yard.

Macho the Dog is tied up on the back porch of his home, no sign that he could have been intimidating enough to push a man to murder. But James Beane, Colbert's lawyer said that's exactly what happened. He says Wright and the dog's owner cornered Colbert and threatened him with the dog. "Anybody who thinks this had anything to do with dog poop doesn't know what they're talking about," he said. 

Neighbors have a different version, suggesting Colbert was furious after Macho left dog waste in Colbert's tidy front yard.

A witness says Colbert confronted Macho's owner in his driveway up the street -- and then when Robert Wright walked up with the dog, the witness says Colbert stabbed him.
Wright got a shovel, hit Colbert in the head, more fighting and stabbing, and Wright finally ending up dead.

Colbert is a volunteer for Kevin Chavous Jr's city council campaign. And Chavous is offering sympathy to both families. 

Penn Branch is a close knit community in Southeast, where neighbors say most people look out for one another. Someone has left flowers next to Robert Wright's front door. But Ellsworth Colbert has his defenders too. A man at the courthouse who refused to give his name says Colbert has always been a generous man who "loves his community."

He may love his community. But the judge ordered him held as a threat to it. Turns out Colbert has a long history of assaults, arrests, and convictions in DC, Montgomery and Prince George's.

Written and Reported by Bruce Leshan

9News Now & wusa9.com