During a status hearing, a defense counselor asked a DC Superior Court judge to compel a prosecutor to give all the names of the defendant’s family members who were involved in a fight that led to the deaths of a 40-year-old man and his wife.
Alonzo Lewis is charged with first-degree murder for allegedly shooting 40-year-old Jaquon Helm and 35-year-old Venius Badgett on the Unit block of Galveston Street, SW in May of 2018. Lewis, 33, is also charged with possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, assault with intent to kill while armed against a minor and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Defense counsel, John Fowler, requested that Judge Danya Dayson require the prosecution to give all the names of the Lewis’ family members who were involved in a fight with Helm prior to his death. The fight was apparently captured on camera
He said that because of an extensive protective order, he was unable to consult with his client about who these family members were and why the fight occurred.
Fowler said he did have some of the names, but he did not have them all and could not identify everyone in the footage.
“It’s like handing me a bag full of names, shaking them up and saying, goodluck! Which, I believe is quite unfair,” said Fowler.
Fowler also asked that the prosecution disclose names of those who had been redacted from grand jury documents because he saw inconsistencies with witness statements in regards to the redacted names.
“Let’s just say someone named cousin was mentioned. Witness one would say something like ‘redacted was there when the murder happened.’ Then witness three would say ‘redacted left before anything happened.’ I need to know who redacted is so I can at least inquire about if he was actually there or not.”
The prosecutor said she could not disclose all the names or identifying factors about the family members because of safety concerns, which she told Judge Dayson at the bench.
She also said that she did not believe there were any inconsistencies with witness statements about the redacted names. She said the names were redacted because those were people she never spoke to or had any interest in speaking to.
Judge Dayson said she would not compel the prosecution to disclose the redacted names or identifying information of the family members, but she did set a deadline of Jan. 31 for the prosecution to make sure all names were turned over to Fowler in regards to those family members.
She also said she would give the prosecutor until that same date to look over the grand jury testimonies and make sure that there were no inconsistencies in witness statements regarding the redacted names.
A status hearing is scheduled to occur on Feb. 7 to discuss the status of the witness names.