Case Acquitted: Jury Finds Defendant Not Guilty After Defense Says Murder Was Committed by A Woman

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This case was acquitted on Dec. 16, 2022.

On Dec. 16, a jury found that a murder defendant was not guilty after defense attorney, David Knight suggested that the real murderer was actually a woman.

Reginald Hooks, 37,  is charged with second-degree murder while armed for allegedly stabbing 22-year-old Dy’Mani Priestley on Jan. 5, 2020, on the 1200 block of U Street, NW.

The defense informed the court, during his closing statements on Dec. 15, that on the night in question, only one person, and it wasn’t Hooks, made a stabbing motion toward Priestly.

Knight said he believes the smacking gesture that Priestly’s friend made towards one of the women outside of the Amsterdam Lounge was what led to the stabbing.

According to the prosecution, it was a lighthearted smack, and everyone appeared to be laughing.

But Knight argued the opposite.

According to the defense attorney, in the video from that night the woman seemed to have “stepped up” and was offended by the slap.

He displayed a portion of the surveillance footage from the night of the murder, which he asserts was the time the actual stabbing took place.

“She steps up and makes a pretty classic stabbing motion,” Knight said.

DNA from the victim was discovered in two different places, including the area where the stabbing motion was made and in another separate area where the victim bled out.

“Why was there blood there if Hooks allegedly stabbed him? That’s not where Hooks allegedly stabbed him,” he said. “But the blood makes sense being there if [the woman] stabbed him.”

Knight made it clear that the only way the blood could have gotten there was if a knife had been removed from the victim’s chest and sprayed.

Knight said, following the incident, the woman was behaving in a suspicious manner and shouting at those who were assisting the police.

“We don’t do that snitchin’ shit over here,” the woman yelled. “Why you snitchin’?”

“You ran up on females and your man got stretched,” she is heard saying.

Hooks, on the other hand, was one of those who remained at the scene, spoke with police, and was being cooperative, Knight told the jury.

A witness who was at the incident said Hooks left the scene and returned without his coat, but that was untrue given that Hooks was seen in his coat on all of the security footage taken after the stabbing, Knight said.

He instead highlighted how attentive and guarded the two women were.

Knight displayed footage showing the women getting into one of their relatives’ trucks and then making their way towards an alley. The friend can be seen returning to the site without her coat.

“They ran up. They got what they needed to get,” body cam footage shows the other woman said. “He started this motherfucker, I’ma catch his ass.”

After the parties completed their closing arguments, DC Superior Court Judge Maribeth Raffinan gave the jury their instructions before sending them to begin deliberations.

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