Defense Seeks Dismissal in Murder Case on Grounds of Privacy Violation

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The defense filed a motion for dismissal in a murder case after claiming the prosecution violated a suspect’s right to privacy guaranteed under the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). 

William Ransford, 59, is charged with second-degree murder in in the death of Debra McManus, 39, on Oct. 23, 1993, near 4th and Trenton Streets in Southeast DC. 

During the March 27 proceedings, defense attorney Dana Page argued that the prosecution wrongly requested medical information about Ransford from the DC Jail where he is currently being held. 

The prosecution responded that a court order wasn’t necessary. 

HIPAA rights do not apply and the defendant’s privacy rights weren’t violated, the prosecutor said.

“Dismissal is the only remedy” Page insisted.

McManus was found near the woods by the high school with visible scratches and signs of strangulation, according to court documents. DNA testing in 1993 did not provide any definitive profiles, however the evidence was retested in 2020 and DNA from McManus’s left sock matched with Ransford’s.

DC Superior Court Judge Raffinan Maribeth said she needed more time to consider the issue and scheduled the next hearing for May 26.

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