Judge Releases Murder Defendant After Finding Probable Cause

A DC Superior Court judge ruled that the case of a fatal stabbing at a Southeast, DC gas station has enough evidence to go to trial, but agreed to release the defendant into the High Intensity Supervision Program.

Tywan Morris is charged with second-degree murder while armed in the death of 27-year-old Danielle Stuckey on Oct. 17 at a gas station on the 2800 block of Alabama Avenue, SE.

During the Nov. 15 preliminary hearing, the prosecution showed surveillance footage of the stabbing and the confrontation that preceded it.

In the footage, a green vehicle, which court documents identify as a 4-door Nissan Xterra, is seen pulling up to the first pump, which is close to a bus stop. A man, identified as 26-year-old Morris, leaves the car to go into the store and pay for his gas. He can be seen wearing a hoodie, black shorts and pants, sneakers and a chain around his neck. A Metropolitan Police Department detective on the case testified that he was wearing the same clothes, except for the hoodie and necklace, when he was arrested that same day. The defendant’s girlfriend and her child are also in the vehicle, according to court documents.

After returning to the car, Stuckey can be seen approaching him. She appears to shake his hand and look inside the vehicle. After this, she appears to become angry and a verbal argument between the two ensues. Stuckey paces in the parking lot during the confrontation.

Later in the video, Morris greets someone in a silver vehicle at the gas station with a hug. The argument continues, and at one point, Morris retrieves something from the silver vehicle. The detective said he believes the defendant was retrieving a knife based on his conversations with witnesses.

At one point, Morris’ girlfriend appears to become involved in the confrontation. According to court documents, she told police that Stuckey has tried to fight her in the past.

In the footage, Stuckey picks up a chair and appears to throw it at the defendant, who knocks her onto her back. It is then that the stabbing appears to occur. 

The detective said Morris told him Stuckey hit him in the head at some point, but he did not see evidence of that in the video. 

Judge Neal Kravitz ruled that the case had probable cause, but he still granted the defense’s request to release Morris into the High Intensity Supervision Program, citing his limited criminal history.