Judge Finds Substantial Probability in Murder Case

A DC Superior Court judge ruled that a case involving a fatal shooting in Columbia Heights has enough evidence to go to trial. 

Randle Price, 28, is charged with first-degree murder while armed in the death of 33-year-old John Pollard on Sept. 30, 2020. 

Judge Yvonne Williams ruled that there was substantial probability that Price was involved in the homicide. She also decided to continue holding the defendant at DC Jail.

Around 1:14 a.m. on the day of the murder, gunfire detection technology picked up multiple shots on the 3100 block of 16th Street, NW. Upon responding, Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers found Pollard on the 3200 block of Hiatt Place, NW, suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

During the Jan. 12 preliminary hearing, an MPD detective testified that, while searching Pollard’s phone, he found a text conversation that appeared to be about a drug deal. An investigation found that number to be associated with the defendant. 

However, during cross-examination, the detective said the number was not found to be registered to Price. Rather, the phone number was connected to Price via a witness.

Detectives found a satchel with a marijuana grinder, rolling paper and four small packages containing a green weed like substance at the crime scene, according to court documents. They also found tennis shoes and a total of seven 9mm shell casings.

Video footage presented in court depicts a man with a satchel, who the detective believes to be Price, and another person identified to be the shooter. 

After the shooting, the suspect’s vehicle travels away from the scene.

According to court documents, an off-duty police officer provided a lookout for a small, dark colored vehicle fleeing the scene where the gunfire technology picked up the gunshots. The officer said they saw a small, dark colored SUV or crossover style vehicle traveling westbound at a high rate of speed on the 1400 block of Park Road towards 16th Street, NW. The officer tried to follow the vehicle, but lost it on the 4400 block of 16th Street, NW.

A 911 caller described the vehicle as a black BMW X5 with a license plate beginning with “UGY5.” An investigation found that a black 2006 BMW X5 with Virginia tags was consistent with the caller’s description. 

Police went on to find and seize the vehicle.

During cross examination, the detective said that police don’t have any indication that the items found in the vehicle belong to Price. 

Price’s next hearing is scheduled for June 7.