Judge Denies Motion to Release Juvenile Charged With Father’s Murder

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On Nov. 16, DC Superior Court Judge Andrea Hertzfeld denied a juvenile defendant’s motion for release. 

The juvenile is charged in connection to the death of his father, 41-year-old Travis Dash, on Nov. 12, on the 3100 block of 16th Street, NW. 

According to a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) press release, officers responded to the location to assist DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) with the report of a man down inside a building. Upon arrival, officers located a victim suffering from puncture wound injuries, who succumbed at the scene. 

The juvenile’s defense attorneys filed a motion for his release, stating that the Court’s Social Services original recommendation was for the individual to be placed in a shelter, but he has remained at the Youth Services Center (YSC) in the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS). 

According to the boy’s attorneys, the juvenile’s cousin, who has worked as a police officer for decades, is willing to take him in and have him live with him outside of the District. They alerted the court that the cousin has been working and helping the family in the days following the incident. 

The defense also argued the killing stemmed from a lifetime of domestic violence, and insisted the circumstances are extremely complex. They stated the juvenile has a lot of healing to do, and needs resources that are not available at YSC. They requested he be placed on GPS monitoring or 24-hour curfew. 

According to the defense attorneys, Dash had a long history of domestic violence, an extensive criminal history, and was a known prolonged drug user. 

A Social Services representative is currently recommending the child continue to be detained because they need to assess him psychologically, but are not arguing the juvenile be held indefinitely.

Prosecutors agreed with Social Services, stating they do not oppose a quick turnaround time, and their request and recommendations may change. 

According to the juvenile’s attorneys, he is not receiving any resources and psychological support while he’s detained in YSC. 

Judge Hertzfeld stated she understands the recommendations, and argued that on Nov. 13, a judge had found substantial probability that the juvenile had committed the offense, therefore continued detention is warranted.

A trial date was set for Jan. 2, 2024. Parties are expected back Nov. 30 to further discuss the juvenile’s release status. 

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