Judge Finds Probable on Lesser Homicide Charge

A DC Superior Court judge ruled that the case against a defendant accused of killing his mother has enough evidence to go to trial, but only on a lesser homicide charge. 

Seth Andrews, 34, was initially charged with first-degree murder in the death of his mother, 67-year-old Hazel Evans, on the unit block of 35th Street, SE on July 16, 2020.

On March 10, Judge Neal Kravitz ruled that there is only probable cause for second-degree murder.

According to court documents, an autopsy revealed that the victim’s injuries were consistent with strangulation. 

During the preliminary hearing, the prosecution played a portion of the 911 call the defendant made on the day of the homicide.

“It’s my fault mommy, I’m sorry I didn’t want to kill you mommy, I’m sorry,” the defendant said during the call. 

They also played a video clip of Andrews waiting in the police station. “I killed my mother,” he is heard saying. “I’m going to hell.” 

A Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) detective on the case testified that blood found at the crime scene was likely a match for Andrews’ DNA. The detective said this blood may have come from a large cut Andrews had on his wrist from one of two separate assaults he had been accused of committing  the day before the murder.

The assault cases have been dismissed. 

Defense attorney John Armstrong argued that, while Andrews demonstrated erratic behavior during the week of the homicide, none of the witnesses in the case reported that he was violent or that his mother was afraid of him. 

Judge Neal Kravitz said that Andrew’s actions before and after the incident were not consistent with the patterns of premeditated murder. He described the homicide as something that was done “quickly and without any forethought.” 

Judge Kravitz denied the defense’s motion for release, so Andrews will remain held at DC Jail.

A felony status conference is scheduled for May 10. 

Sasha Ridenour wrote this article.

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