Judge Denies Motion to Exclude Photos of Guns

During a trial readiness hearing on May 29, a DC Superior Court judge denied the defense’s motion to exclude photographs that featured a murder defendant holding what appeared to be the murder weapon.

Gary N. Proctor is charged with first-degree murder for allegedly shooting his cousin Jerome Diggs, 47, on the 1300 block of First Street, SW in 2015. 

Judge Danya Dayson denied the motion because there was reasonable probability that shell casings recovered from the murder scene could have come from bullets fired from any of the guns in the photos. Proctor, 41, is seen holding two guns in the photos.

According to the prosecutors, the guns in the photos appeared to be compatible with .40 caliber shell casings, which were recovered from the scene. Additionally, the prosecution said ammunition of the same size was discovered at Proctor’s house. 

The prosecutors said admission of the photos was critical because it could connect the defendant to the homicide. 

Proctor’s attorney, Steven R. Kiersh, didn’t want the items included because they were prejudicial to his client’s case.

There was another motion, filed by the defense, to exclude evidence of uncharged criminal conduct, including evidence of drug dealing and an assault against Diggs.

Kiersh argued that since the assault was three years before the shooting, it could no longer be considered as admissible evidence. Kiersh also said Proctor’s drug dealing history should be excluded because it is irrelevant to the case.  

However, the prosecution argued that the assault is still admissible because it shows underlying tension between the cousins.The prosecution said that Proctor was a known drug-dealer in the community and sold drugs to a few of the witnesses. 

The prosecution also said a list of names with numerical sums was found in Proctor’s car. According to the prosecution’s theory, Diggs, whose name was on the list, owed a debt to Proctor, which was a possible motive for the shooting.

The motion is expected to be addressed at the next motions hearing on June 6.

According to court documents, officers from the Metropolitan Police Department found Diggs suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Two witnesses testified that Diggs identified Proctor as the man who shot him. Diggs was pronounced dead at a hospital less than an hour later.