Judge Finds Substantial Probability in 2022 Homicide Case

During a preliminary hearing on Jan. 24, DC Superior Court Judge Rainey Brandt found substantial probability for a homicide case.

Ethan Cunningham, 20, is charged with first-degree murder while armed for allegedly shooting 38-year-old James Curtis on May 10, 2022, in an apartment building located on the 2600 block of Stanton Road, SE.

During the Tuesday hearing Ronald Resetarits, Cunningham’s defense lawyer, emphasized how Cunningham’s probation officer, who recognized him, was only provided images from the Ring doorbell camera and not a whole array.

Because the gun that was used in the incident was directed down rather than at the victim’s body, he said Cunningham had no intention to hurt or kill.

Regardless of the gun’s direction, the prosecutor asked Judge Brandt to find substantial probability based on witness identifications and security footage from the doorbell camera.

“Cunningham pulled his mask down several times during the preliminary hearing,” she said. “Anybody in the courtroom could identify him as the one on the Ring camera.”

Judge Brandt agreed with the prosecutor.

“Cunningham has been identified four different times,” she said. “You can see his face in the ring camera. It’s him. It’s clear.”

According to Judge Brandt, apartment complex staff members called officers from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and identified the individual they saw that day at the apartments as Cunningham.

Cunningham was also named in a number of anonymous tips and identified by his probation officer.

“The prosecutions case is overwhelming strong,” Judge Brandt said.

Cunningham’s next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 27.

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