Judge Approves Counsel Change for Murder Defendant

One of two murder defendants was appointed new counsel during a status hearing.

Demonte Hewitt and Kurt Hewitt , who are cousins, have been charged with second-degree murder  while armed for their alleged role in the fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Tyshon Perry.  The stabbing occurred on the 1300 block of 2nd Street, NE on May 1, 2018.

During the hearing, James King announced that he was replacing Lauren Johnson as Demonte’s attorney. Because of the last-minute change, King requested extra time to familiarize himself with the case’s material. According to DC Courts, Lauren Johnson, who has been on Demonte’s case for a little more than a year, was dismissed on May 28. It is unclear why she was removed from the case.

King also said that he couldn’t obtain body-worn camera footage of the incident. He said the prosecution gave him an expired link. He requested that the prosecutor make the footage accessible to the defense.

After both attorneys scheduled a status hearing on Aug. 23, King asked if the defense could be notified of any earlier dates that become available. DC Superior Court Judge Craig Iscoe agreed and confirmed that the defense was placed on a waitlist for an earlier date.

According to court documents, members of the Metropolitan Police Department found Perry unconscious and unresponsive, suffering from a stab wound to the chest. Perry was pronounced dead less than an hour later.

Demonte, 17, and Kurt, 19, were arrested on May 22, 2018. Demonte is being charged as an adult.