Judge Finds Probable Cause for Defendant Aiding and Abetting Teen Murder

During a preliminary hearing on Aug. 4, DC Superior Court Judge Maribeth Raffinan found probable cause for a defendant aiding and abetting a 2022 homicide case. 

Anthony Green, 27, is charged with first-degree murder while armed for allegedly aiding and abetting the shooting of 16-year-old Deshawn Francis during the course of an attempted robbery on Feb. 8 on the 100 block of Chesapeake Street, SE. 

On Aug. 4, the lead detective of the investigation testified about the surveillance footage he collected and the witness interviews that were conducted. 

One surveillance clip showed Green and his co-defendant, 17-year-old Eugene Williams, approaching the vehicle where Francis and a witness were seated. After a brief amount of time, Williams pulls out a firearm and shoots into the vehicle before running away with Green. Both Williams and Green can be seen with firearms shooting in the witness’s direction as the witness chased after them shooting back. 

According to the detective, the witness initially told police officers he and Francis were there to meet Green and Williams for a shoe transaction. However, the witness later admitted they were there to sell marijuana to Williams. 

Defense attorney Errin Scialpi asked the detective about the statements made by the witness who was in the car with Francis when Francis was shot. 

In one statement to MPD officers, the witness said he did not think Green knew what was going on or that there was going to be a robbery. He said Green looked surprised when Williams suddenly told him “run that shit” and shot into the vehicle. 

The detective said Green could be seen in the surveillance videos with one hand holding his phone and the other outside his pocket as he approached the vehicle. At no point before Williams shot into the car did the detective observe Green holding a firearm. 

Scialpi also pointed out that neither Green nor Williams attempted to open the car doors or tried to take anything from the vehicle. Additionally, there was no evidence of Green and Williams planning a robbery or a shooting together before the event occurred. 

During his closing arguments, the prosecutor emphasized how he did not have to prove Green planned to commit robbery or murder with Williams–merely that Green was physically present at the shooting to aid and abet the robbery. 

“Mr. Green wouldn’t have done all he had done and acted how he had acted if he was just there to buy marijuana,” the prosecutor said. 

In response, Scialpi emphasized the prosecutor’s lack of evidence that Green was aware a robbery was going to occur, pointing to the witness’s statements to police and the videos of the defendant on his phone. 

“This is not somebody who’s there to perpetrate a robbery,” said Scialpi. “He’s distracted, he’s got his phone out, and he doesn’t have his gun out.” 

After hearing the parties’ arguments, Judge Raffinan found probable cause that Green was an aider and abetter of attempted robbery. 

“The video is quite compelling and clear,” said Judge Raffinan. 

Judge Raffinan explained she did not find substantial probability because of the prosecutor’s lack of evidence of Green’s knowledge of or intent to commit the robbery. 

Green will continue to be held at the DC Jail until his next court appearance, which is set for Oct. 11. Williams will also appear on the same date.