Judge Issues Two Bench Warrants During Pretrial, Probation Hearings

A DC Superior Court judge issued two bench warrants and continued cases during pretrial and probation hearings on Sept. 11.

Judge Michael O’Keefe issued bench warrants for Herman Johnson and Jerry Hellams’ arrest after they failed to appear in court.

Johnson, 41, is charged with distribution of heroin. 

According to a representative from the Pretrial Services Agency (PSA,) Johnson has been a loss of contact and has tampered with his GPS. Johnson’s attorney, Steven Polin, has also been unable to contact him. 

“I believe he is homeless,” said Johnson. “I have no means to contact him.” 

Hellems, 64, is charged with distribution of a controlled substance for allegedly distributing PCP on April 7 on the 100 Block of Mississippi Avenue, SE.

According to the PSA representative, he has only reported to them twice since his release, despite being ordered to do so weekly.

Hellems’ attorney, Jason Kalafat, has been unable to reach him through his cell phone number.

Judge O’Keefe continued an assault defendant’s probation show cause hearing.

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

Kelly, 22, was re-arrested twice and, according to the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA,) has failed to comply with his conditions. 

Kelly’s attorney, Lucas Dansie, said Kelly has recently become compliant with his medical treatment. Judge O’Keefe said he will continue the hearing to give Kelly more time to fully comply with his conditions. 

Judge O’Keefe scheduled Kelly’s next show cause hearing for Dec. 2. 

Judge O’Keefe continued a probation show cause hearing for a defendant charged in two cases.

Rondez Tibbs is serving five years of probation for robbery and carrying a pistol without a license in one case, and unlawful possession of a firearm in another. The two cases date back to 2014 and 2015. 

According to CSOSA, Tibbs, 25, while on probation, has been arrested three times. He’s been convicted in one of those cases. The conviction was for driving without a license in Virginia. One of the other arrests was for allegedly fleeing during a high-speed chase in California. 

Tibbs did not get permission to leave DC during his time in California. 

Tibbs’ attorney, Roderick Thompson, asked for the case to be continued. 

“Mr. Tibbs is here today, when he did come back (from California), he did initiate contact with CSOSA,” said Thompson. “Mr. Tibbs understands the gravity of what’s going on. If we’re talking about whether or not this young man is a danger, they are just traffic matters.”

Judge O’Keefe is giving Tibbs 30 days to comply, otherwise, his probation under the Youth Rehabilitation Act (YRA) could be revoked. 

Judge O’Keefe scheduled Tibbs’ next show cause hearing for Oct. 20.

Judge O’Keefe also continued a defendant’s probation hearing.

DeAngelo Washington is serving probation for threatening to kidnap and injure. 

According to his probation officer, Washington has an outstanding warrant for GPS tampering.

Judge O’Keefe said Washington was given 60 days to become compliant at his last show cause hearing.

“The frustrating thing is it’s tough to fault Mr. Washington because he was willing to work with probation,” said the prosecution. “But he didn’t turn himself in and we’re in the exact same place we were 60 days ago.”

Washington was ordered by Judge O’Keefe to clear up his bench warrant violation. Washington will have a last chance to become compliant.

Judge O’Keefe scheduled Washington’s next show cause hearing for Oct. 30. 

Judge O’Keefe continued another pretrial show cause hearing for a defendant charged in four cases.

Edward Cowser is charged with second-degree theft, shoplifting, attempted possession of a prohibited knife, simple assault and attempted threats to do bodily harm.

Cowser, 41, was not present at his hearing. Defense attorney, Jamison Koehler said his client is currently in the hospital after being a victim of a robbery. 

Judge O’Keefe scheduled Cowser’s show cause hearing for Sept. 25. 

Judge O’Keefe continued a weapon possession defendant’s probation.

Andrew Coward is serving a two year probation for carrying a pistol without a license outside home or business, possession of an unregistered firearm and possession of unlawful ammunition.

According to his probation officer, Coward, 26, was initially not reporting for his mental health treatment. He also failed drug tests and the officer recommended that he get substance abuse treatment.

Coward’s attorney, Quiana Harris, said Coward will receive drug treatment through his new mental health provider.

The prosecution requested the case to continue for 60 days to see if Coward gets back on track. 

Judge O’Keefe scheduled Coward’s next show cause hearing for Nov. 12.

Judge O’Keefe discharged the show cause hearing for an assault defendant.

Ladonna Jones is charged with assault with a dangerous weapon for an incident on June 22. 

According to the PSA, Jones has been compliant with her release conditions. Jones’ attorney, Amy Phillips, asked Judge O’Keefe to take her off home confinement and impose a curfew instead. 

The prosecution opposed this because Jones has had difficulties staying out of trouble when not on home confinement. 

Judge O’Keefe decided to leave Jones on home confinement and discharge the pretrial show cause hearing.  

Judge O’Keefe continued a burglary defendants’ show cause hearing.

Kareem Watkins is charged with first-degree burglary.

Watkins, 43, was not present for his hearing. Defense attorney Prescott Loveland said Watkins did not receive notice of the hearing and is in recovery from major surgery. 

Although Watkins has been a loss of contact since July, according to the PSA representative, Judge O’Keefe continued the hearing.

Judge O’Keefe scheduled Watkins’ next show cause hearing for Sept. 22.