Defendant Requests Additional Counsel Ahead of Murder Trial

A defense attorney requested the appointment of additional counsel ahead of an upcoming murder trial.

James Mayfield and Robert Moses are charged with first-degree murder while armed in the death of 17-year-old Jamahri Sydnor. Sydnor was reportedly shot while driving on the 1400 block of Saratoga Avenue, NE, on Aug. 12, 2017.

James Mayfield is also charged with first-degree murder while armed in the deaths of Jermaine Bowens and Elijah Henry. On Dec. 26, 2017, 38-year-old Bowens was found on the 2200 block of Douglas Street, NE, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. The next day, 21-year-old Henry was found unconscious in a residence on the 1800 block of Bryant Street, NE.

Moses’ lawyer, Kevin McCants, asked DC Superior Court Judge Neal Kravitz to appoint an additional attorney before his client’s trial begins in February 2022. During the Nov. 16 hearing, McCants said he motioned for additional counsel at the request of his client, who would like a “second opinion” on his case, though McCants said he was more than able to handle the case himself.

Judge Kravitz expressed concerns over whether or not a new attorney would be sufficiently prepared for the trial before its scheduled start date. Defense attorney Veronice Holtz, who is representing Mayfield in both his murder cases, expressed the same concern. 

Judge Kravitz met privately with McCants and Moses to discuss the matter. Judge Kravitz said he would be reaching out to other defense attorneys to see if they would be available

Any attorney appointed by Judge Kravitz will take over as the lead counsel on Moses’ case, with McCants remaining as assistant counsel.

Mayfield and Moses are also charged with assault with intent to kill while armed in a drive-by or random shooting offense committed during release, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, assault with intent to kill, drive-by or random shooting, aggravated assault with grave risk while armed, obstruction of justice and conspiracy in that case.

The two remain held at DC Jail. Judge Kravitz scheduled a status hearing for Nov. 23.