Judge Pushes for February Indictment in 2020 Murder Case

Prosecutors are aiming to indict a murder defendant by the time of the next scheduled hearing in February.

William Whitaker is charged with first-degree murder while armed in the death of 18-year-old Malick Cisse on Jan. 8, 2020, on the 1300 block of 7th Street, NW.

According to court documents, Cisse walked alone to the area of the Mount Vernon Square Metro station around 11:22 p.m. after a woman believed to be Whitaker’s significant other asked him to meet her on the train. When he arrived, the woman was not there. 

As Cisse was walking back to his residence, a suspect believed to be Whitaker drove up in a car and allegedly shot him in the back of the head at approximately 11:31 p.m. Cisse was pronounced dead shortly after midnight.

The woman in the incident was Cisse’s former significant other who had left him to be with Whitaker, according to a video that Whitaker took of Cisse on the metro. In the video, Whitaker is taunting and harassing Cisse with the caption “b**** a** n**** be in they rap you loose shawdy don’t day s*** to me b**** a**” [sic]. 

In the video, Cisse reportedly told Whitaker he caught him at a time he didn’t have his gun on him, according to court documents.

Twenty minutes after the shooting, Whitaker himself was shot on the 400 block of Chaplin Street, SE, in what MPD believed to be an act of retaliation. Police linked the two incidents using surveillance footage and social media.

The woman in the incident claimed to have not been picking sides between the decedent and the defendant. She said her phone was hacked when Cisse was called to Mount Vernon Metro station, but a police investigation into her Instagram account shows frequency activations, deactivations and group chats in which people are talking about her being the last one to talk to the victim. She not only told MPD she was hacked, she also told her group chats when they asked about the victim’s death.

In November, defense attorney David Benowitz motioned to modify Whitaker’s bond due to what he calls inhumane conditions at the DC Jail. Arguments regarding the motion were made outside open court.

DC Superior Court Judge Milton Lee continued the case to allow prosecutors to work on returning an indictment. Whitaker is expected to return to court on Feb. 6.