Homicide Case Prepares for New Trial

A DC Superior Court judge scheduled another trial readiness hearing to allow parties time to determine if it would be feasible to hold a jury trial this coming July for a re-opened homicide case.

Mark Beasley, 48, was sentenced to 30 years for first-degree murder while armed in the 2015 fatal shooting of 39-year-old Darryn Conte. A jury also convicted him of assault with intent to kill while armed and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence, bringing his total sentence to 40 years. 

His conviction was reversed in November 2019 due to issues regarding the exclusion of Black jurors during the jury selection process. He is now awaiting a new trial on charges of first-degree murder while armed, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, assault with intent to kill while armed and unlawful possession of a firearm.

During the April 19 proceedings, defense attorney Anthony Matthews said he would like to schedule trial dates. Judge Rainey Brandt said parties could set a trial to begin March 2023 or choose one of two trial dates set aside in 2021. Judge Brandt noted that the only reason the case qualified for a 2021 trial was because it was a retrial but she emphasized that the two dates had strict end dates.

Both attorneys said the 2021 dates would not work for them due to scheduling conflicts, but they hesitated to choose 2023 trial dates.

Judge Brandt suggested parties return in two week after they had time to potentially shift their schedules and discuss the issue with co-counsel. She also said she would hold one of the trial dates that parties found could work better for them.

On April 26, 2015, Conte and another victim were found on the 400 block of Butternut Street, NW suffering from gunshot wounds. Conte was pronounced dead on the scene, but the other victim was taken to a nearby hospital and discharged later that day.

The next hearing is scheduled for May 4.