A Metropolitan Police Department detective took the witness stand to shed light on his investigation into an alleged robbery that turned deadly. A DC Superior Court judge ultimately ruled that the cases against the defendants has enough evidence to go to trial.
Malik Bynum, Larry White and Mark Fletcher are charged with first-degree murder while armed in the death of 21-year-old Rosendo Miller, who sustained eight gunshot wounds on the night of July 2, 2021. The homicide took place on the 1300 block of Brentwood Road, NE. According to court documents, the group was robbing Miller when something sounding like a gunshot rang out and a short time later, Miller was shot multiple times.
White left the courtroom after his attorney, Daniel Dorsey, said the defendant was waiving his right to a preliminary hearing. Dorsey said they viewed the evidence and decided it was in their best interests not to attend.
After White left, the lead detective on the case was called to give his testimony. The prosecutor showed images of the suspects near the crime scene.
The detective said there were cameras located throughout the area where Miller was killed. The video footage shows the defendants wearing clothing that the detective said matched what they were wearing when they were arrested. He said they also had some of Miller’s belongings.
The prosecutor gave a warning to friends and family about the graphic nature of the picture they showed. In it, Miller could be seen held down by two men, with a third holding a gun to his head. Items allegedly stolen from Miller included a satchel and a Rolex watch covered in diamonds.
During cross-examination, the detective confirmed to Suen that he had two sustained internal affairs complaints against him. Suen also asked for these to be turned over.
Then, they moved on to who fired the first shot. Suen asked if one of the witnesses could have been the first shooter. He had just been out of sight of the surveillance cameras.
“From the CCTV, it is a possibility,” the detective said.
The surveillance footage appears to show Bynum shooting away from Miller, towards where the first shot was fired. “From this, we can say that Bynum did not shoot the fatal shot that killed Miller?” Suen asked.
“It appears so,” the detective responded.
The prosecutor alleged that the defendants, after seeing what Miller was wearing, grabbed weapons and ski masks before attacking Miller as he exited a store.
“This is a textbook example of felony murder,” said the prosecutor.
Judge Raffinan asked the prosecutor to explain her rationale for the felony murder charge. The prosecutor explained how the robbery was the underlying felony in this case, so the defendants did not need to kill Miller themselves to be charged with felony murder. They simply had to be responsible for the unreasonable circumstances in which Miller was killed.
After Judge Raffinan found probable cause, Suen and Fletcher’s attorney, Thomas Healy, asked for their clients to be released into the High Intensity Supervision Program.
Suen explained that while his client had been on release for a gun charge in Maryland, he has family who would support him if he were placed on house arrest.
Healy explained that while Fletcher has prior misdemeanor charges against him, “he has grown a lot in the past six months” and would be willing to do whatever he can to prove this to the court.
The two’s criminal history and the current charges prompted Judge Raffinan to deny both release requests. Parties are set to reconvene for a felony status conference on May 27.