Judge Denies Shooting Defendant’s Request to Reinstate Release

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DC Superior Court Judge Errol Arthur denied a defendant’s request for release for the second time on June 18, despite the defense adamantly asserting, “Every single thing you say to him, he will follow.”

Amonte Moody, 18, is charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm during a crime of violence for allegedly firing multiple gunshots at a car driving away on a public street at the 1700 block of Independence Avenue, SE on April 22. There were no injuries or property damage reported. 

According to court documents, Moody allegedly disassembled his firearm and hid it in a ceiling following the shooting. 

Moody was previously granted release by DC Superior Court Judge Lloyd Urban Nolan, Jr. on May 3, requiring the defendant to be under electronic monitoring and subject to home confinement.

Three days after Judge Nolan’s ruling, the prosecution filed an emergency motion for review of a magistrate judge’s order granting the defendant’s pretrial release and request for an emergency hearing, in which they argue that “defendants charged with these offenses pose special risks of dangerousness.” 

An emergency hearing was held on May 22, and Judge Arthur overturned Judge Nolan’s decision to release Moody, effectively ordering Moody’s detainment.

On June 18, Molly Bunke and Kavya Naini, Moody’s defense attorneys, requested Judge Arthur to reconsider Moody’s release, arguing for strict conditions, a 24-hour curfew, and a stay away order from DC – all while under electronic monitoring and home confinement. 

Bunke highlighted her client’s lack of a criminal history, and additional family ties that would further assure his release with strict conditions would not be an issue.  

“There will not be a threat to the community, there will not be any mistakes or missteps,” Bunke said in reference to Moody’s previous conduct in release agreements. 

Bunke also added that Moody “went above and beyond” during his short time on release, stating he connected with a mentor and enrolled in online classes.

“There will not be any mistakes. We know he can comply,” contended Bunke.

“The jail is an extremely dangerous place,” stated Bunke, emphasizing that young men like Moody are routinely exposed to drugs and violence. She stated it took multiple weeks to move her client from the DC Jail to the Correctional Treatment Facility (CTF), and added that there have been five deaths reported at the jail recently.

She added that Moody would only have the ability to receive a GED, as opposed to his high school diploma, if he were to remain in detainment.

Ultimately, Judge Arthur opposed the defense’s argument and denied Moody’s request for release. 

He mentioned that the argument was “identical” to the defense’s previous argument, which occurred prior to Bunke being assigned to the case..

Parties are slated to return on July 26.

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