Judge Schedules Hearings For Murder Defendants

A DC Superior Court judge scheduled hearings for three murder defendants in two separate cases. 

Judge Michael Ryan scheduled a status hearing for George Anderson on April 14. 

However, defense attorney Joseph Wong said that a report from the mental examination found his client was “not criminally responsible” for the crime. 

Anderson, 21, is charged with first-degree murder while armed in the shooting of Devin Butler. The incident occurred on April 13 on the 1200 block of North Capitol Street, NW.

With the results of the mental examination, Wong said he plans to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity on behalf of his client and requested a status hearing before the projected April date. 

Judge Ryan said he presumed the parties would prefer to have a bench trial in front of Judge Todd Edelman, who is the calendar judge assigned to the case. However, the court calendars will change in the new year, so there is no guarantee that Judge Edelman will be assigned to the case next year, Jusge Ryan said.  

Judge Ryan suggested that counsel set a date in April in order to ensure the case would stay on track, but told Wong and the prosecutor that they need to reach out to Judge Edelman and schedule a sooner date directly with him.

Judge Ryan’s courtroom clerk does not have access to Judge Edelman’s schedule. 

Judge Ryan also scheduled a trial readiness hearing for two murder defendants on Jan. 19. 

Demonte Hewitt, 18, and Kurt Hewitt, 20, are both charged with second-degree murder while armed in the 2018 stabbing of Tyshon Perry. Perry was stabbed on the 1300 block of 2nd Street, NE on May 1, 2018. 

Both defendants are also implicated in a three-person co-defendant matter where they are charged with kidnapping.

The kidnapping cases is also scheduled to be heard on Jan 19.

However, Demonte’s defense attorney, James King, said he would need more time to file motions. Co-counsel Amanda Rogers suggested that the deadline for the defense motions be set on Feb. 1. She said the later date would also give the prosecution time to prepare a response.

The prosecutor agreed to the deadlines.

Rogers also raised an issue with Judge Ryan concerning physical evidence that was transferred to the defense in November 2019. One of the defendants requested DNA evidence testing so the item was sent to the defense’s lab.

However, the prosecutor said she has not received any information about the status of the test since she sent it last year. 

Rogers assured the prosecutor that she would include that in her motion if the defense does not receive any information from the lab. 

Maria Marzullo wrote this article.