Judge Denies Emergency Release Motion for Man Charged in Two Homicides

A DC Superior Court judge denied an emergency motion for a murder defendant’s release due to what the defense calls “unsanitary, unsafe and unconstitutional conditions” at DC Jail.

Rasheed Young, 43, is charged with murder in two cases, both of which he picked up in December 2020. 

One case involves the fatal shooting of 26-year-old Cedric Rogers on the 300 block of Franklin Street, NE, on June 11, 1996. Young is charged with first-degree murder in relation to this homicide. 

The second case involves the death of 39-year-old Ronald William Richardson, who was shot on the 2300 block of 4th Street, NE, on May 20, 2018. Young is charged with second-degree murder in relation to this homicide.

Defense attorney Elizabeth Weller filed the emergency release motion in November. In it, she cites a memo from the U.S. Marshals Service regarding an unannounced inspection of the jail. Acting U.S. Marshal for the District of Columbia Lamont Ruffin has forwarded the inspection results to the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division for review of potential violations of the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act.

During the Dec. 1 hearing, Weller said her client said there is no running water on his floor of the jail. Judge Marisa Demeo still denied the motion, saying her office will need to get in contact with the jail again before a decision can be made.

Wellers also requested a mental observation hearing to reassess Young’s competence to stand trial. According to Wellers, a full year in confinement has had a drastic impact on Young’s mental and physical health. Judge Demeo agreed to this request.. 

The mental observation hearing is set for Dec. 13.