Judge Grants Request for Continuance of Sentencing in Murder Case

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DC Superior Court Judge Maribeth Raffinan granted the defense’s motion to continue the sentencing on July 9 in Daniel Fleetwood’s murder case so they can meet with an expert witness, despite the plea having already been accepted. 

Fleetwood, 28, pleaded guilty May 29 to second-degree murder wile armed. He was originally charged with first-degree murder while armed in connection to the death of 26-year-old Shana Donahue on May 28, 2020, on the 2900 block of N Street, SE. 

Fleetwood’s defense attorney, David Knight, said he would hire a medical professional to analyze Fleetwood. Knight requested that Judge Raffinan delay sentencing and the pre-sentencing report interview until after the expert has completed their analysis. 

However, due to the Public Defender Services (PDS) furlough, which is slated to commence July 15, they could not hire a witness until the end of September. 

The prosecution objected to the continuance of the sentencing. The prosecutor said the sentencing date has already been set, and it would be unfair to the victims and their families. 

The prosecution also objected to the vague circumstances surrounding the medical expert. 

Judge Raffinan met with the defense team ex parte to discuss the issue and agreed that, at this time, the defense does not need to disclose to the prosecution why they need an expert. 

Judge Raffinan also said the case was unique and granted the defense’s motion to continue the sentencing. It is now set for Dec. 13. 

The parties are set to meet again on Sept. 13.

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