Judge Plans to Address Motions in Five-Defendant Murder Case

A DC Superior Court judge continued a hearing in a murder case so she could have time to look over outstanding motions filed by four of the five co-defendants.

Tyiion Kyree Freeman, Reginald Lopez Steele, jr., Koran Jackson and Aaron Dequan Brown are charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 13-year-old Malachi Lukes on March 1, 2020, on the 600 block of S Street, NW. A second juvenile male was wounded in the shooting.

Judge Rainey Brandt was recently assigned to the case. “It sounds to me like parties, in this case, aren’t nearly ready to set a trial date yet,” she said during the Jan. 13 proceedings. Parties are expected to set a trial date during the next hearing on March 25. In the meantime, several motions await rulings.

Jackson’s lawyer, Kristin McGough, made note of Jackson’s motion to reconsider the Oct. 20 court order denying a voucher that would allow him to observe the DNA testing process by Bode Technology, a private forensic lab based out of Virginia. McGough has since filed a motion for reconsideration that is waiting for the prosecution’s response.

The prosecution affirmed their intent to consume DNA during testing. Motions were filed in opposition and the court initially ruled that the prosecution could consume on the condition that the defense could allow experts to observe testing. All defendants in the case chose not to make observations except Jackson.

“Bode doesn’t conduct videotaping of their testing. That’s not their policy,” the prosecutor said. “Their policy is that they do not videotape their testing.”

Freeman has a motion for release from custody that awaits a judge’s decision. Defense attorney Andrew Ain requested an expedited hearing and court decision in the matter on his behalf. “My client doesn’t want his motion to linger for months,” he said.

Brown also has an outstanding release motion. According to his defense lawyer, arguments were made during a December hearing, but the judge held off on making a ruling. However, the online case docket listed the motion for release was based on the conditions at the jail as rejected. Judge Brandt said she would have that corrected and that the motion would remain held in abeyance.

Stephen Nelson, who faces two counts of accessory after the fact for assault with intent to kill while armed and a firearm possession charge, does not have any outstanding motions that need to be addressed by a judge.

Judge Brandt is expected to pass down decisions when parties reconvene on March 25.

Freeman is also charged with eight counts of assault with intent to kill while armed and 13 charges of unlawful firearm possession. He is represented by Andrew Ain and Rebecca Vogel.

Brown, represented by Joseph Wong, is also charged with four counts of assault with intent to kill while armed and seven counts of illegal firearm possession.

Steele is charged with first-degree murder while armed. He was represented by Wole Falodun. Steele is also charged with 10 counts of assault with intent to kill while armed, one count of conspiracy and 14 firearm possession charges.