DC Superior Court Motions for Release

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In the wake of COVID-19, several inmates have filed motions for release.

According to Leah Gurowitz, director of media and public relations at DC Superior Court and DC Court of Appeals, judges are handling the requests as they come in. She said some motions for release can be decided the day of while others need to schedule hearings.

On April 9, 12 cases were heard by judges at DC Superior Court. Some cases were heard via telecommunications while others were held in person.

Four inmates’ request for release was denied.

Devin Hill is charged with first-degree murder while armed and assault with a dangerous weapon for his involvement in the death of 28 year-old Michael Cunningham on Nov. 29.

Hill’s attorney Roderick Thompson, filed the motion for his release because Hill has a medical conditions that could increase his chances to contract COVID-19.

DC Superior Court Judge Neal Kravitz, who presided over the hearing via phone, continued Hill’s hearing until April 17.

Lionel Garrison was the only defendant to have his charges dropped on April 9.

Seven defendants had their hearings continued until April 10. Three of these inmates were charged with felonies.

Javon Gunter 18, is charged with first-degree murder while armed for allegedly shooting 15-year-old Thomas Johnson on Oct. 9, 2019, on the 1300 Block of Half Street, SW.

After initially being released to a halfway house on Jan. 4, the decision to release Gunter was reversed on Feb. 14.

Travis Russell, 35, is charged with first-degree murder while armed for allegedly stabbing Michael Hooker, 44, on the 2700 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE on May 26, 2019.

Travis’ defense attorney Mani Golzari made attempts to find Travis suitable housing pending the acceptance of the motion to release. However, since he could not find housing the hearing was continued until April 10.

No bench warrants were issued during proceedings.

As of April 9, DC Superior Court is operating through four courtrooms for adult arraignments and presentments, family court emergencies, neglect and juvenile hearings, criminal and domestic violence emergencies and civil, probate and tax emergencies, according to the DC Courts site. Most of the hearings are being conducted remotely.

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