Judge Rules Man Had Probable Cause to Commit October Homicide

During a presentment Nov. 15, a DC Magistrate judge found probable cause that a 26-year-old man was involved in an October homicide. Defense counsel argued the man acted in self-defense.

Tondrick Murphy is charged with second-degree murder while armed for allegedly shooting 26-year-old Marquis Jones on the 2000 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE. Officers from the Metropolitan Police Department arrested Murphy on Nov. 14.

Murphy’s lawyer said Jones initiated a physical altercation with his client prior to the shooting. The attorney also said Murphy and Jones were armed on the night of the murder.

Furthermore, the attorney said Jones moved his hand in a “threatening” manner moments before the shooting, which provoked Murphy to shoot. 

The prosecution refuted the self-defense claim, saying Jones was merely scratching his head.

Subsequently, Judge Errol Arthur found probable cause, acknowledging that Jones was responsible for starting a fight prior to the murder. The judge also said the fight clearly establishes a motive. 

Judge Arthur ordered the defendant held without bond, citing Murphy’s criminal history and his failure to comply with the terms of his supervised release for a 2009 burglary conviction in Prince George’s County, Md.

Murphy is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Nov. 29.