Defendant Pleads Not Guilty to Multiple Charges

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On Jan. 27, a defendant pleaded not guilty to five crimes at his felony arraignment hearing.  

Michael T. Garrett, 67, is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree murder premeditated while armed, first-degree burglary, and two counts of destruction of property of $1,000 or more for incidents that occurred on Dec. 3, 2021, on the unit block of Elmira Street, SW. Garrett allegedly assaulted 71-year-old Sylvia Matthews.

Garrett’s defense attorney, Roderick Thompson, requested a status hearing date due to new discovery, which was not discussed in court. 

According to court documents, Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers arrived at the scene and located the victim in the basement with severe head trauma from an apparent assault. There were blood trails on the scene with a pool of blood surrounding the victim, and a blood-covered cane near the victim’s body. 

Officers found the defendant in the basement behind a partition that separates the larger area from a laundry room. There was a blood trail from where the victim was found to where the defendant was located.

The defendant was immediately detained in the basement while officers continued their search and investigation. Garrett told officers he had gotten to the scene five minutes before they had arrived and had found the victim attacked, documents stated. 

Officers had been called earlier that day for a burglary in progress and a report was taken for destruction of property. The victim identified the suspect for the burglary as Garrett. 

Approximately one hour later, officers were called to the address again; this time for a phone call between the victim and the defendant. Through the phone call, officers advised Garrett to leave the victim alone, according to court documents.  

Based on the events of that morning, officers had probable cause that the attack on Matthews was conducted by Garrett, and they officially arrested him at the scene of the attack. 

Garrett is being held at the DC Jail.  

During the hearing on Friday, the prosecutor asked DC Superior Court Judge Robert Okun for a trial date to be set during the next hearing.

The next hearing is scheduled for April 7, and a trial date will be set during the proceeding. 

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