Judge Denies Defense’s Motion to Suppress Defendant’s Witness Identification

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During an Oct. 20 hearing, DC Superior Court Judge Milton Lee heard arguments regarding a motion to suppress identifications of the defendant.

Elhadji Ndiaye 23, is charged with first-degree murder while armed for allegedly shooting 21-year old Travis Deyvon Ruth on Jan. 18, 2019, on the 2700 Block of Jasper Street, SE. 

During the hearing, defense attorney Nikki Lotze argued for the suppression of identifications from witnesses. She said the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) only used one photo rather than a spread for identification, so there is a large likelihood of misidentification in this case. 

She argued that it is possible witnesses were heavily suggested to identify the defendant as the shooter on the basis of there only being one photo of him. 

The prosecution refuted this motion to suppress the witnesses’ identifications, arguing that because the witnesses had prior contact and relationship with Elhadji, it is much more likely they were able to correctly identify him. 

While he acknowledged the defense’s photo spread concern, Judge Lee denied the motion to suppress the identifications on the basis of the defendant’s prior interaction and familiarity with the witnesses who identified him.

The trial is set to begin on April 21, 2023.

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