Homicide Defendant Arraigned on Charges, Pleads Not Guilty

DC Superior Court Judge Robert Okun arraigned a defendant on first-degree murder while armed, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, and carrying concealed weapons outside a home or business in violation of the 2nd Emergency act of 2014. 

Samuel Mack, 56, allegedly shot 35-year-old Erica Ward in an apartment on the 4700 block of Benning Road, SE on Dec. 30, 2020. According to court documents, the two used to be in a relationship and began arguing the night after Mack brought their son over to visit. Mack was apprehended that same night. He was released under the High Intensity Supervision Program (HISP) the following March where he is not permitted to leave home from 9pm-6am. 

During the Aug. 10 felony arraignment hearing, defense attorney Jacqueline Cadman pleaded not guilty on behalf of Mack and requested the court extend Mack’s curfew by one hour so that Mack would have more time to finish a carpet installation job in Maryland. Cadman said Mack is in full compliance and that his work often requires him to stay late. 

“It could go much later than 1opm but he could really use that extra hour,” Cadman said. 

The prosecution opposed extending Mack’s curfew.

Judge Okun held off on making a ruling because there was no pre-trial services representative present during the hearing. 

“Honestly, I need to hear from pre-trial so we’re going to have to pass this until pre-trial is here,” Judge Okun said. 

Mack is currently scheduled to stand trial in June 2024. The trial is expected to last one to two weeks. 

The next hearing is scheduled for Nov. 18.