Judge Questions Prosecutor on Lack of Indictment in 2020 Murder Case

A DC Superior Court judge questioned a prosecutor on why a murder defendant arrested in July 2020 has not yet been indicted.

During the early hours of May 24, 2020, 26-year-old Kayvon Kinney was found in a parking lot on the 1800 block of Gainesville Street, SE, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Approximately one-and-a-half months after his death, 26-year-old Michael Austin was arrested and charged with second-degree murder while armed. He has remained held at DC Jail ever since.

The lack of an indictment was a point of contention during the most recent hearing for this case on March 21. During those proceedings, the prosecutor asked for two more months to continue working on the case.

Judge Milton Lee was curious as to why the indictment is taking this long. The prosecutor’s office is trying to prioritize older cases for indictment. The prosecutor for this case said they are not completely finished with getting the grand jury testimony. 

Defense attorney Jason Tulley pointed out that nearly two years have gone by since the defendant’s arrest. He asked for a trial date to be scheduled and said he may motion for the case’s dismissal or the defendant’s release if an indictment does not come soon.

Judge Lee immediately said a trial date will be set. The prosecutor, in response, said there is no guarantee witnesses will be available. 

A jury trial date was scheduled for Nov. 13, 2023. Parties are expected to reconvene for a status hearing on May 24.