Multiple Court Hearings Canceled Amid DC Jail Covid Outbreak

Hearings for multiple cases were canceled at the DC Superior Court due to the DC Jail seeing their largest COVID-19 outbreak since the pandemic began, according to government data.

As of Jan. 10, 1,081 people were in quarantine or had tested positive at DC Jail. These high numbers have yet to be seen since the start of the pandemic. Judge Rainey Brandt said on Jan. 18 in open court that her entire calendar had been canceled due to the defendants being in quarantine at the jail.

One of the hearings in courtroom 201 was supposed to take place later in the day, but Judge Brandt chose to call it earlier because the defendant, Dedan Williams, is quarantined and could not be brought to court. Williams, 50, is charged with second-degree murder while armed for allegedly stabbing 38-year-old Andrew Tillman to death on Nov. 15, 2020.

“Why put off till 2:30 what you can do now,” Judge Brandt said.  Williams’ defense attorney said he was unaware of the defendant being on quarantine.

This is the second time Williams has missed a hearing in 2022 due to being in quarantine. During the first one he missed on Jan. 4, defense attorney Roderick Thompson said he had received plea deal paperwork but has not been able to go over it with his client

Defendants Niko Hall and Kyrie Wells also missed hearings due to being in quarantine. Both are charged with first-degree murder while armed in the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Anthony Lee on Sept. 26, 2020.

Parties in this case are slated to reconvene for a felony status conference on Feb. 8.