Defense, Prosecutors Spar Over Evidence in Double Homicide Case

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The validity of an Instagram photo was debated at a hearing before DC Superior Court Judge Maribeth Raffinan March 17.  The prosecution introduced a social media post suggesting that murder suspect Amarii Fontanelle, age 20, might have violated the conditions of his pretrial release. 

Fontanelle is charged with first-degree murder while armed for allegedly shooting 19-year-old Reginald Lamont Cooper, Jr. and 19-year-old Davonte Berkley on Oct. 17, 2022 on the 1300 block of Congress Street, SE. He is also accused of shooting a third victim, who ultimately survived. 

The prosecutor said she had obtained an Instagram post that appeared to show Fontanelle in the Congress Park neighborhood where his girlfriend lives the day after his release–an apparent violation.

Fontanelle’s attorney Kevin Mosley objected, saying he should have seen the photo in advance and called the move an “ambush tactic” intended to impugn Fontanelle’s character.  

However, the prosecutor argued the photo was a “concern for the government,” and that more time was needed to determine its authenticity.  

A court official monitoring Fontanelle says she hasn’t seen any issues since his February release.

Mosley asked that Fontanelle’s pretrial release be modified, so he could live with his maternal aunt and that the order to “stay away” from his former girlfriend’s neighborhood be lifted. 

He said Fontanelle is drug free and even participating in a mentorship program. 

Judge Raffinan told Fontanelle that he was “doing what he needed to do,” and could move in with his aunt but refused to lift the stay away order.  

The next hearing in the case is set for April 24 at 10 a.m.

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