Judge Disqualifies Public Defender Service from Representing Murder Defendant

A DC Superior Court judge disqualified the Public Defender Service (PDS) from representing a defendant in a reopened murder case. 

In 2017, Eugene Burns was convicted of first-degree murder while armed, carrying a pistol without a license and possession of a firearm during a crime of violence in the shooting of Onyekachi Osuchukwu III on the 2900 block of 2nd Street, SE, on Nov. 14, 2015. He was sentenced to 31 years in prison.

Following an appeal, Burns’ case was reopened in March 2020. He is now awaiting a new trial.

During the Oct. 27 hearing, Judge Juliet McKenna found that an affidavit filed in support of Burns’ release contained fraudulent statements. Judge McKenna said there is no evidence that the Public Defenders Service (PDS) was aware of the fraudulence.

Judge McKenna will appoint Burns new representation.

Parties are scheduled to reconvene on Nov. 16.