Trial Preparations Underway in Case of Teenager’s Homicide

Parties discussed preparations for the upcoming trial of two defendants charged in connection with a teenager’s death.

James Mayfield and Robert Moses, both 22, are charged with first-degree murder while armed in the death of 17-year-old Jamahri Sydnor. Sydnor was reportedly shot while driving on the 1400 block of Saratoga Avenue, NE, on Aug. 12, 2017.

The two defendants are scheduled to go to trial in late March.

Moses is being represented by Steven Kiersh and Kevin McCants. Moses was unable to attend the hearing due to being in quarantine at the DC Jail. Moses defense attorneys said during the Jan. 18 hearing that they expect to file multiple motions once Moses is out of quarantine and they can speak with him.

Mayfield is represented in his cases by Sweta Patel and Veronice Holt. He is currently unvaccinated and DC Superior Court Judge Maribeth Raffinan said he must be vaccinated before the trial date. His counsel said they plan to file new motions once they are able to have a status hearing where both parties are present.

Prosecutors in this case said that no plea deal has been extended to the defendants. Judge Raffinan told defense counsel they should speak to their clients about their interest in possibly pleading out instead of going to trial.

Updated expert notices from the prosecution are due by Feb. 8. The defense has until Feb. 22 to file objections with the prosecution’s responses due by March 7.

Towards the end of the hearing, Mayfield attempted to speak directly to Judge Raffinan about a separation order. Judge Raffinan advised that before he spoke more he should communicate with his lawyers. Mayfield sat back down and spoke with his counsel. Holt then addressed the judge saying that the question regarding the separation order would not be resolvable at the moment.

Parties are scheduled to reconvene on Feb. 10 for a status hearing.

Moses is also charged with possessing a firearm during a crime of violence, assault with intent to kill while armed, conspiracy, aggravated assault and obstructing justice in this case. Mayfield is charged with assault with intent to kill while armed, possessing a firearm during a crime of violence, threat to injure or kidnap a person, armed robbery, assault with a dangerous weapon, aggravated assault, possession of an unregistered firearm and carrying a pistol without a license outside a home or business.

Moses is also charged with first-degree murder while armed in the deaths of 38-year-old Jermaine Bowens and 21-year-old Elijah Henry. On Dec. 26, 2017, Bowens was found on the 2200 block of Douglas Street, NE, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. The next day, Henry was found unconscious in a residence on the 1800 block of Bryant Street, NE, also suffering from gunshot wounds.