Judge Finds Probable Cause in a Two-Victim Homicide Case

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On Nov. 13, DC Superior Court Judge Anthony Epstein found the prosecution established probable cause in a double homicide case.

Jeremiah Jordan, 33, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder while armed for allegedly shooting 29-year-old Luke Whitaker and 19-year-old Zion Hollingsworth-Hayes on July 22, on the 1400 block of Girard Street, NW.

According to Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) documents, officers responded to the location for a shooting, where they located Whitaker. Shortly after, they found Hollingsworth-Hayes on the 1400 block of Fairmont Street, NW. Both victims were dead.

During the hearing Jordan’s defense attorney, Joseph Yarbough, resumed his cross-examination of a detective involved in the investigation of the case. The detective confirmed Yarbough’s argument that three individuals were seen in surveillance footage going up to Whitaker after the shooting, but the detective did not follow up on their flight paths.

The detective also confirmed there was a bag taken from Whitaker after the shooting and it could have “contraband” in it and this was a reason for searching Whitaker’s car for a firearm.

The detective testified the nickname “Bo” was connected to Jordan soon after the shooting and he found text messages between “Bo” and Whitaker.

Yarbough argued that Jordan never made threats towards Whitaker and that, in surveillance footage, Whitaker is seen physically advancing at Jordan. However, the detective testified there is no evidence that Whitaker was armed.

In the final arguments, Yarbough argued potential self-defense and mitigating circumstances, stating there were “provoking events”. He also argued that Whitaker started the physical altercation and the bag taken off Whitaker could have contained a firearm or other contraband.

The prosecution closed by saying “a push does not warrant nine bullets” in relation to the physical altercation seen in surveillance footage.

Judge Epstein found probable cause that the shooter did not act in self-defense, and argued prosecutors had reached the burden of proof to show probable cause that Jordan was the shooter. Judge Epstein also denied Yarbough’s request for Jordan’s release due to the circumstances of the shooting. 

Parties are expected back Jan. 19, 2024.

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