Judge Approves Defense Attorney’s Motion for Independent Counsel 

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On Jan. 26, DC Superior Court Judge Anthony Epstein granted a defense attorney’s motion to implement independent counsel for a defendant charged in connection to the murder of a 62-year old man. 

D’Aundrey Scott, 28, is facing charges for first-degree murder, assault with the intent to kill, and two counts of arson, for his alleged involvement in four crimes that occurred on May 13, 2020, resulting in the death of Darryl Finney two days later. The crime occurred on the 900 block of H Street, NE. The assault occurred on the 1300 block of H Street, NE, and the two counts of arson happened on the 1400 block of Morse Street, NE. 

Roderick Thompson, Scott’s defense attorney, said he filed the motion for independent counsel due to a conflict with the Public Defender Services (PDS). Scott accused another PDS client of committing the crimes he is being charged with. 

Thompson argued that independent counsel is most appropriate at this stage and, although the defendant wants PDS to remain as his counsel, it would be best for the court to grant him independent counsel. 

The prosecution opposed the motion, but the judge argued that due to the timing, with Scott’s trial date set for August, if they were to grant him independent counsel it would be best to do it sooner rather than later. 

The judge granted the motion, saying he would appoint a new attorney to the defense as soon as possible, saying the defendant, prosecution and current defense attorney would receive notice from his chambers. 

In court, Judge Epstein and prosecutors also discussed letters that the defendant sent to them, some of which were filed in a sealed motion. 

The prosecutor said that in some unsealed letters, the defendant accused another individual of committing the crimes he is being charged with. 

In the letters, the defendant said he needs to be released immediately. He also declared his dislike for the prosecution. 

Judge Epstein asked the defendant to stop sending letters to other parties in the case, saying the letters would not benefit him. 

Scott’s next status hearing is scheduled for Feb. 15. 

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