Judge Holds Off Decision on Request to Change Murder Defendant’s Classification at Hospital

A DC Superior Court judge decided he would wait to rule on an attorney’s request to change a murder defendant’s classification at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, DC’s psychiatric institution.

Alisa Randall is charged with murder in the stabbing of 59-year-old Ronald Jones Payne on July, 15, 2019. That morning, Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers went to an apartment on the 1300 block of Euclid Street, NW, to do a welfare check, according to court documents. Payne was found there with multiple stab wounds. 

Randall, 33, was found incompetent to stand trial shortly after her arrest. She has been held at St. Elizabeth’s for nearly two years now, receiving competency restoration treatment. 

During the June 3 hearing, defense attorney Ashley Prather-Guzman asked Judge Neal Kravitz to release Randall in this case so she can stay at St. Elizabeth’s while being classified as a civil defendant, rather than a criminal one. Guzman said her client will have more services and treatment options available to her this way. 

The prosecution asked for Randall to remain at St. Elizabeth’s as a criminal defendant.  The prosecutor expressed concern that classifying Randall as a civil defendant will make it easier for her to be released from the hospital. 

Judge Kravitz decided he needed to look into the laws and past cases of a similar nature more closely before making a decision. 

The next hearing is scheduled for June 8.