Judge Finds Probable Cause in Fatal Shooting Case

A DC Superior Court judge determined that a murder case has enough evidence to go to trial.

Juvon Julian Searles, 39, is charged with second-degree murder while armed in the death of 46-year-old Paul Williams Jr. on July 24, 2018.

That evening, Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers found Williams lying in the roadway in front of a 7-11 convenience store on the 800 block of R Street, NW. He was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, according to court documents. Williams was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Security footage from a nearby metro station shows an individual leaving the scene after the shooting. 

Judge Neal Kravitz concluded that the surveillance footage and the police affidavit, while far from overwhelming, were sufficient enough to establish probable cause.

“A question of malice is established quite clearly with three gunshot wounds,” said Judge Kravitz. 

Defense attorney James King asked the judge to release his client into home confinement.

“Given the seriousness of the charges, the noncompliance with court orders in the past, and the prior criminal convictions on his record, it is sufficient to protect the community and assure his appearance at future court dates,” said Judge Kravitz when he denied the request.

Searles is also wanted in Virginia, which also makes him ineligible for the High Intensity Supervision Program (HISP) due to the outstanding warrant. 

Judge Kravitz transferred Searles to Virginia to resolve the matter for the warrant. The judge also placed a bench warrant on the defendant, so he would not be released after dealing with the Virginia case.

The defendant’s next status hearing is set for May 21.

Brennan Fiske and Adriana Montes wrote this article.