Carjacking Defendant Deemed Competent to Stand Trial

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DC Superior Court Judge Lynn Leibovitz found an armed carjacking and robbery defendant competent to stand trial, despite his defense attorney’s objection, during a June 20 hearing. 

Taysean Juwan Hawkins, 20, is charged with conspiracy, four counts of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, two counts of armed carjacking, unauthorized use of a vehicle, and fleeing a law enforcement officer, for his alleged involvement in multiple carjackings between Jan. 11 and 12, 2021 at various locations, including

  • the 1500 block of 30th Street, NW, where an Audi SUV was stolen at gunpoint but then retrieved unoccupied on the 1200 block of Douglas Street, NE
  • the 4700 block of Alton Place, NW, a black Acura was stolen at gunpoint less than two hours after the first armed carjacking
  • the 4300 block of Alton Place, NW, where a bright blue Toyota Rav4 SUV was stolen at gunpoint, three minutes following, and less than a half mile from the previous armed carjacking
  • the 2600 block of Benning Road, NE, where Hawkins was arrested after being seen by Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers driving recklessly at a high rate of speed in the carjacked Acura

A competency screening, originally ordered by Judge Leibovitz on June 14, found Hawkins competent, but his defense attorney, Janai Reed, requested an independent neuropsychologist to perform a separate evaluation of Hawkin’s competency.

Reed explained the independent expert was needed as Hawkins was still having trouble with recalling events and could not assist counsel in the case.

Judge Leibovitz found, regardless of any possible future independent expert diagnosis, Hawkins was currently competent.

However, she ordered a full competency examination to alleviate the concerns of the defense.

The mental observation hearing is set to continue on July 22.

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