Judge Holds 4 and Releases 25 During Initial Hearings

On Nov. 11, DC Superior Court Judge Judith Pipe held four defendants and released 25 during initial hearings. 

Those held include Darnell Rackett, who is charged with first-degree murder while armed. 

According to court documents, the offense occurred on July 4.

At approximately 10:57 p.m., the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) responded to a shooting on the 1500 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. When officers arrived on the scene, they found the victim, 36 year-old Antonio Gardiner, unconscious and suffering from gunshot wounds. The victim was transported to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead. 

Originally, a juvenile was arrested for the murder on July 8. However, officers also arrested Rackett, 20, on Nov. 11. Judge Pipe held Rackett at the DC Jail given the alleged crime.

His next court date is set for Dec. 7. 

Judge Pipe also held Kenneth Scott, who is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm with a prior conviction. 

The offense occurred on Nov. 10 on the 2300 block of Pitts Place, SE. According to court documents, officers conducted a firearm search in the area due to a recent uptick in gun violence. Around 9 p.m., officers allegedly recognized Scott, who is known to the officers for his previous firearm arrests. 

Officers allegedly saw Scott stick an object in his pocket. When MPD approached Scott, they saw a brown wooden handle of a revolver and arrested him.

Due to his previous history with firearms, Scott, 27, was held at DC jail. 

A defendant charged with assault with significant bodily injury while armed is also being held at DC jail. 

The defendant’s defense attorney, David Knight, requested that his client be released on the condition that he report to the Pretrial Services Agency (PSA). Judge Pipe took into account all the evidence before her and denied his request.

The defendant’s next hearing will take place on Dec. 7. 

Jamal Hunter is charged with being a fugitive from justice. Hunter is wanted in Maryland but will be held at DC Jail for three days while he waits for the demanding jurisdiction to pick him up and transfer him to Maryland.  

Eight defendants with domestic violence-related charges were released. The defendants were issued stay-away orders from the victims and ordered to report to PSA. Only one defendant was given a no harassing, assaults, threats or stalk (HATS) order. 

Their next hearings are all set for April 14. 

One defendant charged with first-degree child sexual abuse was released. He was issued a stay-away and ordered to report to PSA on a regular basis. 

Judge Pipe released eleven defendants on misdemeanor charges under various conditions, including contacting PSA and stay-away orders. All eleven defendants were ordered to appear back in court on April 14. 

The judge released three defendants charged with possessing controlled substances with the intent to distribute. One defendant was issued a stay away, and all three were ordered to report on a monthly or weekly basis to PSA.

Two defendants, charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and operating a vehicle while impaired, were released with orders to report to PSA. 

One final defendant, charged with simple assault, is in the hospital, so his hearing was moved to Nov. 12. 

Emily Pengelly wrote this article.