Judge Denies Release in Domestic Violence Case

During an Aug. 18 preliminary hearing, DC Superior Court Judge Rainey Brandt denied release for a defendant accused of running over a man who allegedly raped her in front of her kids. 

The defendant is charged with assault with intent to kill while armed for allegedly running over a man with a sport utility vehicle on Aug. 4 on the 600 block of R Street, NW. According to witness testimonies, the defendant stepped out of the vehicle after running him over and yelled, “He raped me in front of my kids, I should shoot his ass right now.” 

The complainant suffered multiple injuries, including a broken rib, broken arm, and a lacerated liver. The complainant is being treated for his injuries at a local hospital. 

During the preliminary hearing, the prosecutor questioned the police officer assigned to the case about evidence obtained during the investigation, including video footage of the incident. 

The footage shows a large SUV driving behind the complainant while he is walking along the sidewalk of R Street, NW. The SUV went up the curb and hit the complainant. The defendant is seen getting out of the SUV after the vehicle got stuck in a fence. 

The prosecutor argued that the defendant intended to kill the complainant because she made no effort to hit the brakes or render aid after running him over. 

“She doesn’t slow down the car, what stopped the car was the impact from hitting the fence,” the prosecutor said. “There’s no indication she tried to render aid.”

Defense attorney Stephen Logerfo said the defendant reported the complainant for sexual assault and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is conducting an investigation. Since the investigation is still open, neither party has been able to get further information. 

Logerfo also attempted to cast doubt on the defendant’s intent to kill. 

“We do not know essentially what happened in this case before the complainant was walking on the sidewalk,” Logerfo said. “It doesn’t appear she attempted to flee… she got out of the car and didn’t attempt to attack him again.”

The preliminary hearing concluded with Judge Brandt finding probable cause and denying the defendant’s request for release, citing her previous assault cases. 

“[Her] criminal history is of some concern to the court… while it’s not lengthy, it’s repetitive,” Judge Brandt said. “I can’t risk her public safety by releasing her for those reasons.”

As parties were scheduling the next hearing, the defendant became visibly upset and attempted to leave the courtroom. 

“He raped me. He raped me. There’s a case,” The defendant yelled. 

Judge Brandt warned the defendant to remain composed or she will have the deputies escort her out of the courtroom. 

The next hearing is scheduled for Oct. 7.