Murder Case Continues As Prosecution Gathers New Evidence

DC Superior Court Judge Danya Dayson continued a motion hearing on June 23 to give the prosecution more time to gather evidence.

William Davenport, 29, is charged with first-degree murder while armed for allegedly shooting 27-year-old Leonard Turner on May 14, 2021, on the 1700 block of Trinidad Avenue, NE. 

During Thursday’s motion hearing, Davenport’s defense attorney Jacqueline Cadman filed a motion for the court to reconsider the probable cause and detention findings from Davenport’s preliminary hearing in November 2021. Cadman argued that since the surveillance video of the robbery and the still shots from the footage were precluded, the prosecution’s case has been substantially weakened. 

“Given that you cannot establish identity from the homicide video, we’re asking the court to reconsider the probable cause and detention findings,” Cadman said. 

The prosecution argued that there is still motive evidence, which the prosecution has been gathering since the robbery video and still shots were precluded in April. But, the prosecutor said the evidence could not be present during the hearing.

However, Judge Dayson, who originally viewed the surveillance video of the robbery and the still shot evidence, said the prosecution could not establish motive for the defendant without presenting new evidence. 

During a preliminary hearing on Nov. 17, 2021, the prosecution established probable cause and detention by using video footage of Davenport being robbed the night before the homicide as well as footage of the murder of Turner the following day.

According to DC Superior Court Judge Rainey Brandt, the surveillance video was not clear enough for identification, but the surveillance video of the robbery identified Davenport as the shooter. 

Judge Brandt ruled that the prosecution violated Rule 16 which states that upon the defendant’s request, the prosecution must provide the defendant with a copy of the defendant’s prior criminal record that is within their possession, custody or control. As a result, during an April 28 hearing, Judge Brandt ruled that the video of the robbery and the still shots from the video were not admissible. 

“If the video is out, if the stills are out, how are you going to get to this conversation about Mr. Davenport,” Judge Dayson asked the prosecution. “You have to tell me the evidence that gets you from point A to point B.”

The hearing is scheduled to continue on July 21.