Judge Finds Probable Cause in 2019 Homicide Case Linked to Mass Shooting

A DC Superior Court judge ruled that the case of a homicide that took place during a mass shooting in 2019 has enough evidence to go to trial.

Devonte Brothers, 26, is charged with first-degree murder while armed in the shooting of 30-year-old Arkeem Jackson on June 16, 2019, on the 4300 block of 4th Street, SE. During this shooting, four other victims were non-fatally wounded by gunfire.

The prosecution showed surveillance footage of a man matching Brothers’ description near the crime scene during a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) detective’s testimony. The detective responded to the scene of the crime. He testified that Brothers dropped off a silver Nissan Altima about a half-mile away from the crime scene approximately four days before the shooting, which was shown in the footage. The men alleged to be Brothers and his associate return to the car in a red Dodge Charger directly before the shooting, which the detective identified as Brothers’ vehicle. He said he recognized it from multiple traffic stops.

The man alleged to be Brothers is seen driving the Nissan Altima to the scene. The detective said the shots were fired from the vehicle. Video footage of the shots being fired is obstructed due to foliage blocking the camera’s view. Although it is not directly clear who fired the shots, the detective said they were coming from the side of the vehicle on which the man alleged to be Brothers was sitting. 

The prosecution also presented forensic swabs of the driver’s side of both vehicles which match Brothers’ DNA profile. They also presented cell phone evidence that places Brothers near the crime scene 45 minutes before the shooting. However, his cell phone location was turned off at the time of the shooting. 

Defense attorney Ronald Resetarits argued that, since the surveillance footage is obstructed, it is not definitive that Brothers was the shooter. There is also here is no eyewitness testimony that pinpoints Brothers at the crime scene, he argued. 

Despite this, Judge Marisa Demeo found probable cause, ruling that “the circumstantial evidence, in this case, is very strong.” 

Brothers is also charged with first-degree murder while armed in the shooting of 27-year-old Deron Leake on Oct. 17, 2019, on the 4200 block of 6th Street, SE. Probable cause was already found in December 2020 for this case. 

Brothers is scheduled to return to court on both these cases on Sept. 14. He is currently being held at DC Jail.

Editor’s Note: D.C. Witness defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more were shot, fatally or non-fatally.

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