Judge Finds Probable Cause in Murder case

A DC Superior Court judge determined that a murder case has enough evidence to go to trial on Dec. 16. 

Devonte Brothers is charged with first-degree murder while armed in the fatal shooting of  27-year-old Deron Leake on the 4200 block of 6th Street, SE. on Oct. 17, 2019.

Leake was pronounced dead on scene with a gunshot wound to the head, according to court documents. Another victim was shot in both legs but survived. 

The lead Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) detective on the case testified that he identified Brothers, 26, as their alleged suspect based on cell phone data that put the defendant in the area before, during and after the homicide. A witness at the scene also identified Brothers as the alleged shooter. 

During cross-examination, defense attorney John McKenna asked whether the witness, who was charged with a felony, was offered a cooperation agreement or if the charge was still pending.

“That is a question for the government,” the detective responded. “To my knowledge, he has not received any agreement, but I honestly have no idea.”

“This is a single identification circumstance,” McKenna told  Judge Todd Edelman. “Witness Two only identified the defendant after he committed a crime and had the possibility of having his charges dropped. They come up woefully short of probable cause.”

McKenna also requested his client’s release from DC Jail. 

 The prosecution argued against the request, noting that the defendant already has a lengthy criminal history.

Judge Edelman found probable cause and granted the prosecution’s request to hold the defendant.

Brothers next court appearance is set for Feb. 22, 2021. 

Emily Pengelly wrote this article. 

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