Murder Defendant Still in Solitary Confinement After 3 Years, Defense Says

During a status hearing on Aug. 20, a defense attorney said her client has spent the last three years in solitary confinement.

Marcus Martin is charged with felony murder while armed, assault with intent to kill, conspiracy, attempted robbery and firearms offenses for his alleged role in the shooting death of 19-year-old Derryk Johnson on the 600 block of N Street, NW in 2016.

Defense attorney Dana Page told the judge that Martin has been in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day since his arrival at the DC Jail in August of 2016. She said the treatment amounted to torture and could raise constitutional issues.

The prosecution said they did not request Martin be held in solitary, only that he be separated from certain other inmates, whose identities were not stated on the record.

DC Superior Court Judge Craig Iscoe said that he doesn’t have the authority to order the DC Jail to remove Martin from solitary unless it violated the Constitution.

Judge Iscoe then spoke to the attorneys off-the-record. It is not clear whether the issue was resolved.

Judge Iscoe previously ordered that Martin be released under the high intensity supervision program (HISP) on Aug. 13. The prosecution then filed a motion to reconsider.

During the hearing, Judge Iscoe reversed his decision, Martin is currently being held without bail.

Martin is scheduled for a status hearing on Nov. 22.