Judge Schedules Hearing to Determine Where to Place Competent Murder Defendant

On Oct. 6, a DC Superior Court judge scheduled an evidentiary hearing to determine where a murder defendant should be housed now that he has been ruled competent to stand trial.

Bratrell Hawkins is charged with second-degree murder while armed in the death of Xavier Tate. The 26-year-old victim was shot to death on Jan. 5 on the 1400 block of Third Street, SW.

Hawkins, 27, is currently being held at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, DC’s psychiatric institution, where he has been since early February.

On Sept. 8, defense attorney Laura Rose told Judge Neal Kravitz that their expert found Hawkins, 27, marginally competent to stand trial, but unlikely to maintain competency if brought to DC Jail.

The expert recommended that the defendant stay at St. Elizabeth’s. However, the prosecution argued that the defendant should be transferred to DC Jail since he is competent.

Judge Kravitz gave the defense until Sept. 18 to share a comprehensive report from the expert with both him and the prosecution.

During the Oct. 6 status hearing, the prosecution said that Rose omitted several documents from the report before sharing it with them. The prosecution argued that the missing documents should be produced, but Rose disagreed.

She said she omitted the documents because of privacy concerns.

Parties could not come to an agreement.

Judge Kravitz ruled that both parties must produce all materials underlying their respective expert’s opinions by Oct. 22.

The next hearing, scheduled on Nov. 5, will address Hawkins placement from the materials and experts’ opinions.

This article was written by Yasmeen McGettrick

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