Judge Encourages Parties to Wait Before Choosing Trial Date

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During a felony arraignment on March 3, a Washington, DC Superior Court judge encouraged counsel to wait until they knew whether or not the case would go to trial before scheduling a date. 

Travis Russell, 35, is charged with first-degree murder while armed for allegedly stabbing Michael Hooker, 44, on the 2700 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE on May 26.

Mani Golzari, Russell’s defense attorney, waived the reading of Russell’s rights and entered a plea of not guilty. He requested a trial date, a motions calendar and that the prosecution turn over DNA examination results when they get them back. 

Instead of scheduling a trial date, DC Superior Court Judge Neal Kravitz said that the reason the court gets so backed up is because trial dates are scheduled for cases that sometimes don’t end up going to trial. He suggested that counsel wait until DNA results return before choosing a trial date. 

DNA results are expected in mid-April. A hearing for the defense to decide if independent testing would be conducted is scheduled for May 22. 

Russell is being held without bail.

This article was written by MiriYam Judd and Wyatt Mullins

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