Judge Denies Murder Defendant’s Release Request Amid Concerns Over Jail Conditions

A murder defendant will remain held at DC Jail following the denial of his release request.

John Philogene is charged with second-degree murder while armed for allegedly shooting 34-year-old Evan Wood on March 27 on the 4200 block of 6th Street, SE.

Back in September, Philogene’s attorney at the time, Wole Falodun, motioned for the 24-year-old defendant’s release into the High Intensity Supervision Program or home confinement. During the Nov. 17 hearing, defense attorney Michelle Lockard, who recently replaced Falodun, cited the poor jail conditions Philogene described to her and argued that her client won’t be a flight risk on GPS monitoring and does not pose a threat to the community.

The prosecution opposed the request, arguing that the evidence against Philogene is strong – citing the court’s previous finding of substantial probability – and disagreeing with Lockard’s assessment that he does not pose a threat to the community.

DC Superior Court Judge Juliet McKenna brought up the defendant’s adult criminal history, which consists of misdemeanor charges, and said he has violated a stay away order in the past. Citing this, she denied the release request.

Acknowledging the reports of unsanitary jail conditions, however, Judge McKenna said the US Marshals Service, who recently performed an unannounced inspection of the facility, will be present at DC Jail and have agreed to “promptly remedy these situations.” 

Lockhard suggested waiting to schedule the trial and Judge McKenna agreed. Lockhard said the prosecution gave her more discovery evidence two days prior and she is taking time to look over the details of them. 

The prosecution also said they will be providing the defense with Body Worn Camera (BWC) and surveillance footage shortly. 

The prosecution extended the defendant a plea offer that would reduce his murder charge to one count of voluntary manslaughter, with a sentencing range of seven-and-a-half to ten years.  The defense has yet to make a decision on this.

The next hearing is scheduled for Feb. 25.