Judge Pushes Murder Trial Back in Lieu of Pending Motions

During repeated questioning of witnesses, a DC Superior Court judge expressed frustration towards a murder defendant’s defense attorneys.

Marquette Tibbs is charged with first-degree-murder while armed, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, conspiracy to commit a crime of violence, robbery while armed and unlawful possession of a firearm with a prior conviction for his alleged involvement in the death of Orlando Silver III on the 1300 block of Howard Rd., SE in 2016. Tibbs was initially charged with second-degree murder while armed.

“I’m trying not to get frustrated, but I’m failing at that as time goes on,” said Judge Todd Edelman as Tibbs’ defense attorneys questioned a third witness after the judge repeatedly ruled that the questions were irrelevant or leading. 

Tibbs’ defense attorneys, Prescott Loveland and Jessica Willis, questioned three witnesses who are currently or were formerly employed by the Metropolitan Police Department. All three were involved with the investigation into Silver’s murder.

While questioning the witnesses, the defense attorneys attempted to prove that there was cause to suppress three statements Tibbs made after he was arrested. 

Tibbs told police that he didn’t want to “go into the cage” when police attempted to place him in a cell, according to a MPD Sergeant. Tibbs added that once he went into “the cage” he would “be there for a long time.”

The defense said the officers continued to question Tibbs after he invoked his right to an attorney, and therefore any statements he made were not admissible. 

“This statement appears to occur in the context of continued questioning,” said Loveland. “He could be going into a jail cell for any number of reasons short of homicide.”

Loveland said the officers knew that, at the time of his arrest, Tibbs was in possession of marijuana and a firearm even though he was wearing an ankle monitor. 

Tibbs also told police that he was wearing the ankle monitor and that he “did not shoot anyone” after invoking his rights, according to the Sergeant. 

Prosecutors said it was a “spontaneous statement” from Tibbs. 

Tibbs’ trial has already been delayed twice before. The trial was first scheduled to occur in February, then it was rescheduled to May. The most recent delay was from Nov. 18 to January.

DC Superior Court Judge Todd Edelman said the trial needed to be pushed back because he needed time to review evidence before making a ruling on whether he would suppress any of Tibbs’ statements. 

Tibbs trial is now scheduled to begin on Jan. 15, 2020. A motions hearing is scheduled to occur on Jan. 10, 2020.

Cinquan Cartledge, 24,  is also charged with first-degree murder while armed in connection to the Tibbs’ murder. Judge Edelman granted a motion to sever the cases in March.