Judge Finds Probable Cause in Felony Assault Case, Holds Defendant in Jail

A DC Superior Court judge found probable cause in a felony assault case during a preliminary hearing. 

Derrick Ferguson, 47, is charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and assault on a police officer after he stabbed a Special Police Officer (SPO) outside St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, DC’s psychiatric institution, on Oct. 12.

Judge John Campbell decided to hold Ferguson until his trial, citing his extensive criminal record, the nature of the case, and a current parole hold. 

During the Dec. 10 hearing, the prosecution admitted video evidence that captured the crime. The footage showed the defendant, who was identified by a witness, standing off to the side as a fight broke out next to St. Elizabeth’s entrance. 

The video then shows Ferguson engaging in the fight. The witness said Ferguson struck one of the SPOs on the head from behind before being pushed off to the side. 

The two on-duty SPOs then approached Ferguson who appeared to reach into his pocket before making a swinging motion at the officers. The witness said Ferguson had reached for a knife and ended up cutting the shirt of one officer and then stabbing the second. 

MPD was unable to recover any weapon from the scene.  

Defense attorney Donna Beasley argued that the video evidence provided by the prosecution does not show the full story because there was no audio. 

“We don’t know what the interaction between Mr. Ferguson and the complainants were,” said Beasley. 

Beasley also argued that the police’s investigation was incomplete.

“This detective did not bother to interview anyone who could have heard what was going on,” said Beasley. 

She also argued that her client acted in self-defense after the SPOs approached him.

However, Judge Campbell said the video clearly shows Ferguson choosing to enter the fight of his own accord. He pointed out that the video also showed several bystanders who did not engage in the fight. 

Ferguson’s next hearing is scheduled for Jan 11.

Maria Marzullo wrote this article.

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