Judge Orders Homicide Defendant’s Transfer to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital 

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On Nov. 20, DC Superior Court Judge Maribeth Raffinan ordered a homicide defendant transferred from DC Jail to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital to begin mental health treatment and determine if he’s competent to stand trial.

Charles Lee, 29, is charged with first-degree murder for his alleged involvement in the murder of 65-year-old David Dowdell that occurred on March 9, 2022, on the 1100 block of Alabama Avenue, SE. 

Lee’s defense counsel, Laura Rose asked for the treating psychologist to be different than the evaluator for the restoration determine because currently the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) sets the same person to carry out both functions. Rose said this is a potential conflict of interest since information gained in therapy might be significant in determining mental competency.

The prosecution said they need more time to review the proposed order but they believe Lee needs competency restoration. 

Defense counsel suggested the court order the defendant’s transfer to St. Elizabeth Hospital to begin some kind of treatment but wait on restoration efforts until the terms have been looked over by the prosecution and both parties are able to make a decision. 

Judge Raffinan agreed with the suggestion and ordered that Lee be transferred but may only participate in treatment that is not classified as competency restoration until parties agree on terms. 

Parties are set to return Dec. 12 for a status hearing to finalize the terms of the competency restoration.

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