Judge Denies Murder Defendant’s Release Request

A DC Superior Court judge denied a murder defendant’s request to be released from jail into home confinement. 

James Harper, 39, is charged with second-degree murder while armed in the shooting of 39-year-old Bret Desmarteau on May 27, 2021, on the 100 block of Sheridan Street, NE. 

During the Oct. 7 hearing, defense attorney Marnitta King said her client has experienced violence at DC Jail. She also voiced medical concerns due to him not receiving a vegan diet, which he says he needs for health reasons.

Judge Marisa Demeo denied the release request but ordered medical examinations to assess if Harper needs a vegan diet. 

Parties are scheduled to reconvene on Dec. 17.