Domestic Abuse Defendant Granted Third Continuance Pending Psychiatric Testing

DC Superior Court Judge William Nooter issued another continuance for a domestic abuse defendant, his third one, as he awaits psychiatric testing. 

The 22-year-old defendant is charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm with a prior conviction, and simple assault in connection to a violent altercation with his girlfriend on Jan. 30. According to court documents, the defendant allegedly brandished a weapon after his girlfriend accused him of flirting with another woman. During the fight, his girlfriend reportedly pulled out a taser. 

During an Oct. 31 hearing, defense attorney, Julie Swaney, informed the court that psychiatric testing has yet to be conducted on her client, apologizing for the “significant delays.”

In response, the prosecution asked Judge Nooter to grant a continuance, prefacing her request with “I hate to ask…” as this marks the third consecutive continuance for the case.

Swaney concurred with the prosecution, stating that the case cannot be adequately addressed without test results. At the same, she requested the defendant be released as he has been held pending testing.

Judge Nooter agreed that parties should not proceed until sufficient information is materialized. 

Regarding the delays, he attributed them to understaffing at the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA) after the tester was involved in a car accident. He said the backlog is “not simply a lack of diligence on their part.”

Swaney’s request for release was denied. The judge cited the pending test results as the critical factor for this decision.

Swaney said she expects testing to occur on Nov. 3 and approximates that the results would take two weeks to process.

Parties are scheduled to reconvene on Nov. 15 to discuss the results of the tests and further address case matters.

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