Appointment of New Counsel Could Push Trial Date to Next Year

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During a status hearing on Feb. 15, DC Superior Court Judge Anthony Epstein said he would appoint new counsel for a defendant in murder case, which could get moved to 2024.

D’Aundrey Scott, 28, is charged with first-degree murder, assault with intent to kill, and two counts of arson for allegedly murdering Darryl Finney, 62, and causing three other fires on May 13, 2020, on the 900 block of H Street, NE; on the 1300 block of H Street, NE; on the 1400 block of Morse Street, NE; and the 1300 block of I Street, NE.

Scott allegedly threw a flammable object onto two men including Finney, setting a porch on fire, and also setting a motor vehicle on fire.

He was identified by two witnesses after seeing surveillance footage that was played on a media outlet. 

According to court documents, once arrested, Scott said he had Schizophrenia and was possessed by demons.

During Wednesday’s status hearing, Judge Epstein was informed that Scott’s current defense counsel, Roderick Thompson, would be withdrawn from the case due to a conflict of interest with another client. The conflict involved Scott alleging another client with the Public Defender Service (PDS) committed his crimes. 

Megan Allburn, an independent attorney who is also counsel on the case, said she would not be able to take over the case due to a large caseload of her own.

Judge Epstein said he would appoint a new attorney for Scott and set a hearing in a couple of weeks to determine if the parties are still prepared for  trial on Aug. 14.

The parties are scheduled to return March 17 for a status hearing.

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