Judge Denies Release Request from Murder Defendant Awaiting Preliminary Hearing

A DC Superior Court judge ruled that a homicide defendant should remain held at DC Jail as he awaits his preliminary hearing, which will determine if his case has enough evidence to go to trial. 

Aaron Kenon is charged with second-degree murder while armed for allegedly stabbing 29-year-old Keith Frye on May 8 on the 400 block of 8th Street, SE. The preliminary hearing is set to take place in less than a week.

During the July 21 hearing, defense attorney David Akulian argued that his 43-year-old client should be released due to the limited evidence against him.

Akulian listed four witnesses and said that none of them claim to have seen the stabbing firsthand. Akulian also said the prosecution “would not be able to disprove” that Kenon acted in self-defense.

The prosecution, however, opposed the request to release Kenon. She argued that Kenon still presents a danger, citing security footage in which she says Kenon can be seen following Frye around a corner after their alleged initial scuffle.

The prosecution also said that Kenon admitted to carrying a large knife with him for self-defense purposes following the attack on the United States Capitol on Jan. 6.

Toward the beginning of the hearing, Judge Milton Lee commented, “this might be a pretty good self-defense case.” However, he said he was “not so sure” that Kenon’s alleged use of force was reasonable, telling parties this issue is probably going to be relevant in Kenon’s upcoming preliminary hearing on July 27.

Judge Lee ultimately decided to continue holding Kenon. He cited Kenon’s lengthy criminal record that spans multiple years, his multiple unsuccessful probations and the potential danger someone who regularly carries a large knife may pose.