Neighborhood Dispute Turned Deadly- Defendant Indicted for Murder

Defense attorney Dana Page will not challenge the results of multiple mental competency evaluations of a defendant in a murder case.

Jamaarr Morgan, 22, was arraigned on charges of second-degree murder while armed, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, and carrying a pistol without a license. He was originally charged with first-degree murder of Jacques Benjamin Russ, 44, on the unit block of 61st Street, NE on Dec. 14, 2021.

Morgan has been held at DC Jail since March 1, 2022, and was transferred to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in July for further evaluation.

According to court documents, one witness living in the same neighborhood as Russ stated that he suffered from mental illness, had harassed others nearby, and that he walked around like a “Billy bad ass.” 

That witness had multiple disputes with Russ but said he had not ordered a “hit” on him.

Another witness stated that Russ was very paranoid and accused neighbors of watching his movements and stalking him.

Morgan was staying at a hotel nearby the incident, and checked out shortly after the homicide, according to court documents. Another witness told the police that Russ told an unknown individual “You ain’t seen me”.

The next hearing is scheduled for April 21 to pick a trial date.

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