Judge Denies Defendant’s Release Request

DC Superior Court Judge Robert D. Okun denied Sept. 22 the defense’s motion for release citing possible danger to the community.

Damonta Thompson, 25, is charged with first-degree murder while armed on Sept. 4, 2021, on the 600 block of Longfellow Street, NW. Thompson is accused of allegedly shooting 31-year-old Donetta Dyson, 24-year-old Keenan Braxton and 37-year-old Johnny Joyner and injuring three others. 

Kamar Queen, 24, Erwin Dubose, 27, and 49-year-old Toyia Johnson were also charged with first-degree murder while armed and tampering with physical evidence in this case.

Judge Okun cited the heinousness of the crime and the lack of new substantial evidence introduced as other reasons to deny release. 

Defense attorney Elizabeth Weller argued for Thompson’s release under home confinement with GPS monitoring.

Weller claimed that there was little to no evidence that Thompson was at the scene of the crime when the shooting occurred. She cited there was no photo, video, DNA, witness, or fingerprint evidence placing him at the scene of the crime. She said the prosecution has not found any new evidence linking Thompson to the murders.

Thompson has no priors, according to Weller, and a loving family to whom he might be released. A large number of his family members present in the courtroom and via WebEx for support. 

The prosecution refuted Weller’s points by citing phone records, Thompson’s  association with the identified shooters, the heinousness of the crime, and the possible danger that Thompson poses to his community if he is to be released.

Judge Okun scheduled the next hearing for Jan. 13.