Homicides Not Ready for Trial, Judge Says

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DC Superior Court Judge Juliet McKenna said that two defendants charged with murder cannot be brought to trial yet in the aftermath of errors from the Department of Forensic Services.

Rondell McLeod and Joseph Brown had been charged with first-degree murder while armed in the deaths of Amari Jenkins, who was found dead on Aug. 15, 2015, on the 4900 block of East Capitol Street, SE and Antwan Baker, who was found dead on the 5300 block of Clay Terrace, NE, on Nov. 12, 2015. 

The two had been indicted as co-defendants because the homicides were thought to be linked based on ballistic evidence. However, it was discovered that the cases were not linked. As such, the cases were severed.  

The prosecution said there are significant forensic clues, and significant scientific issues that require litigation. 

“It is premature to set this matter in trial, particularly in light of the fact that there are issues with forensic evidence,” Judge McKenna said. 

Judge McKenna scheduled a hearing for March 2 so Judge Milton Lee could hear the defense’s motion to dismiss the indictment, which pertains to the forensic evidence, and to set a trial date.  

Alicia McCoy is charged with obstruction of justice and perjury in connection with Baker’s homicide.

McCoy’s attorney asked the judge to release her client from the High Intensity Supervision Program (HISP,) saying that McCoy has been compliant and has a possible job opportunity.

Judge Juliet McKenna amended the defendant’s release conditions to GPS monitoring only. 

Adriana Montes wrote this article.

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