Judge Denies Release in Domestic Violence Case

DC Superior Court Judge Neal Kravitz denied a request for release from a defendant accused of shooting a woman in a vehicle during a dispute.

The 21-year-old defendant was indicted on nine charges including, assault with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, threat to kidnap or injure a person and carrying a pistol without a license. All charges include the addition that they were committed while the defendant was released from jail. The charges stem from an incident that occurred on Dec. 15, 2021, on the 4800 block of Texas Avenue, SE. 

The prosecution stated that the complainant has been receiving various threats on social media and that the individual responsible for the threats was physically present in the courtroom during the most recent hearing on June 9.

The prosecutor threatened a superseding indictment if the defendant is found to be responsible in connection with the threats to the victim on social media. 

It “was wholly inappropriate for the government to bring it up at this time,” defense attorney Stone Macbeth replied, referring to the prosecution’s lack of evidence on who made the threats to the victim.

Judge Kravitz did not take a position, saying the decision was outside of his jurisdiction.

The defendant requested to represent herself in the trial. “He’s not arguing enough for me,” she said. Judge Kravitz advised against her request, but issued a recess to address the matter. The question of representation still remains unresolved. 

The motion for release requested that the defendant be released from DC Jail to live with her grandmother. According to Macbeth, the defendant was allegedly sexually assaulted by a staff member at DC Jail and that the defendant has been placed in solitary confinement. 

The defendant filed a complaint against the staff member that allegedly sexually assaulted her at the jail. the complaint is currently pending review. 

Macbeth asked Judge Kravitz to release his client and stated that his client has a strong support system and ties to the community. He referenced her academic studies and interests in the local music industry. 

Judge Kravitz denied the motion for release, stating that the court’s finding of probable cause during the defendant’s preliminary hearing.

He expressed concerns about the defendant’s prior criminal history, including a guilty plea in another case.

The next hearing is scheduled for July 25.

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