Judge Gives Prosecution More Time to Discuss Motion to Sever

On Oct. 7, DC Superior Court Judge Milton C. Lee scheduled  another hearing to give the prosecution time to discuss a motion to sever one of the co-defendants in a 2017 murder case. 

Gabriel Brown, 34, and 32-year-old Antonio Upshaw are charged with first-degree murder while armed in the shooting of 24-year-old Tyrone Johnson during an alleged robbery gone wrong on March 10, 2017, on the 2300 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. 

As Upshaw, who was arrested in December of 2017, reached his fifth year of being held, a trial date with both defendants continued to be delayed as a result of Brown’s circumstances. 

Brown has another pending case, resulting in scheduling conflicts, and requests for new counsel given his current attorney, Steven R. Kiersh’s unavailability.

Upshaw’s defense attorney Ronald B. Resetarits filed a motion to sever the defendants, which would enable a quicker trial date to be set solely for Upshaw. 

The prosecution said a severance would be a disadvantage.

Judge Lee gave the prosecution a week to discuss the possibility of a severance as well as potential alternatives such as granting Upshaw certain release conditions. In the meantime, new counsel would be found for Brown. 

Additionally, Judge Lee granted a motion for a protective order regarding police bias and credibility materials, filed by the prosecution. 

On March 10, 2017, witnesses heard gunshots coming from an alley alongside the 2300 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, SE and saw a gray sedan leaving the alley soon after. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers responded to the scene and found Johnson suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was later pronounced dead, according to court documents.

Surveillance videos captured two male subjects, one of whom looked like Upshaw, exiting the passenger seats of one of the getaway vehicles. Brown was later identified as the second subject. 

The two defendants are also charged with armed robbery, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, armed carjacking, and unauthorized use of a vehicle.

Upshaw is additionally charged with carrying a pistol without a license outside a home or business.

Brown is also charged with conspiracy while armed.

The next hearing is set for Oct. 14. 

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