Judge Issues One Bench Warrant During Probation, Pretrial Show Cause Hearings

A DC Superior Court judge presided over ten pretrial and probation show cause hearings on Dec. 2.

Judge Michael O’Keefe issued a bench warrant for the arrest of one of the defendants, Caleb Johnson, after he failed to show up to his hearing. 

Johnson, 22, is charged with escape from an officer. According to the Pretrial Services Agency (PSA,) he has never reported to them by phone. Defense attorney Chidi Ogolo has also not been able to contact his client.

Judge O’Keefe also scheduled sentencing hearings for three defendants who pleaded guilty in their respective cases. 

Nineteen year-old co-defendants Raven Southerland and Nyle Fitzgerald were charged with second-degree burglary in June. They pleaded down to second-degree theft. Fitzgerald also pleaded guilty to unlawful entry and Sutherland pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property. 

Judge O’Keefe scheduled the two to be sentenced on Dec. 22.

Xiyuan Chang pleaded down from assault with a dangerous weapon to attempted assault with a dangerous weapon. 

Chang, 20, fired a BB gun at a victim after a traffic incident on the 1300 block of New York Avenue, NE on March 10, according to the case’s proffer. 

Judge O’Keefe scheduled Chang’s sentencing hearing for Jan. 27. 

Judge O’Keefe continued hearings for six defendants.

Glendon Kelly is serving 12 months of probation for simple assault. 

According to a Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA) representative, Kelly has been doing well since September despite having two pending arrests. 

Kelly’s two arrests are set for a status hearing for Jan. 25. Judge O’Keefe continued this hearing for Jan. 25 so it could trail his new cases. 

Marvin Parker is charged with a DUI and operating a vehicle while impaired. 

According to the PSA, Parker has not been compliant with his release conditions and has an extraditable warrant in Prince George’s County, Md. Parker will be sent there in order to resolve the warrant. 

Judge O’Keefe scheduled Parker’s next hearing for Dec. 23 in order for him to resolve his outstanding issues and come back into compliance. A possible plea deal is also in the works, according to the prosecution.

Haile Salam is charged with GPS tampering. The 39-year-old defendant was not present at his hearing. A PSA representative said he was arrested for a parole violation on Nov. 17.

Judge O’Keefe continued the hearing to Dec. 23. 

A 57-year-old defendant is charged with misdemeanors for sex abuse, threats to do bodily harm, simple assault, attempted threats to do bodily harm, unlawful entry onto private property and contempt in four cases. 

During his hearing, he asked Judge O’Keefe for a new lawyer. 

“He (defense attorney Stuart Johnson) is horribly ineffective to be diplomatic about it,” said the defendant. 

He asked for Lee Johnson to be appointed as his new attorney. Judge O’Keefe was able to contact Johnson and confirm his appointment. 

According to the PSA, the defendant has also been in violation of his stay away orders. PSA recommended GPS monitoring.

Judge O’Keefe ordered for the defendant to be placed under GPS monitoring and continued his case for Jan. 26 to give him time to come into compliance with his release conditions. 

Leon Harper is serving 15 months of probation for attempted unlawful possession of liquid PCP, a DUI and simple assault in three cases. 

According to CSOSA, Harper, 56, has not completed any of his probation requirements and has had three separate arrests for driving without a permit. CSOSA asked for Harper’s probation to be revoked. 

Defense attorney Brett Cohen asked Judge O’Keefe to give his client some more time to finish his requirements as it’s been a difficult time during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Judge O’Keefe decided to give Harper until his next Jan. 25 hearing to get into compliance with his probation conditions. 

Wendell Pickett is serving nine months of probation for first-degree theft and unauthorized use of a vehicle. Pickett was not present at his hearing. 

However, a CSOSA representative explained that he was not able to get in contact with the defendant last week, which is why he didn’t know about the hearing. The representative said he has stayed in touch with them for the most part.

Judge O’Keefe decided to continue the hearing to Jan. 25 to see if Pickett stays in compliance.