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On Nov. 15, DC Superior Court Judge Robert Salerno granted a defendant’s motion to continue his disposition, due to a delay in a psychological evaluation that could impact the case.
The juvenile was arrested on Sept. 15 for his involvement in two separate shooting incidents.
According to prosecutors, the defendant fired a gun into the air on Feb. 22, on the 2200 block of Savannah Terrace, SE. There were no reported injuries. Officers from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) were able to identify the juvenile as the shooter from surveillance footage.
On June 9, the defendant fired a gun at a vehicle that was exiting a parking lot on the 2200 block of Alabama Avenue, SE. The driver, a woman, suffered from a life-threatening gunshot wound to her back. Her child was present in the vehicle at the time of the shooting.
MPD officers identified the defendant as the shooter from a still-shot that was recovered from surveillance footage that depicted the incident.
On Nov. 15, in what was supposed to be his disposition hearing, defense attorneys for the juvenile argued they were missing the report for a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation, and were told the court could not go through with the sentencing at that time.
Once the disposition was continued, the defense requested the juvenile be released as he awaits disposition, arguing he has had constant family support, and his grandmother, who is his legal guardian, wants him to return home and transfer him to an out-of-state school with a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) program.
According to the defense attorney, the juvenile is doing well in the virtual school his family arranged stating he has outstanding grades.
She also argued he is serious about being better, and has become a role model in the Youth Services Center (YSC) in the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS). Still, the attorney alerted the court the juvenile has filed a grievance with YSC for denial of breakfast, pain medication, and meetings with attorneys.
In a letter written to the court and read aloud by the defendant, he apologized to the victims, and insisted he wants a chance to show he’s changed and can do well in the community. “I want to turn my life around,” said the juvenile, arguing he’s “not a bad person,” but he “made a mistake”.
According to the juvenile, he’s realized that “there’s more to life than this,” and wants to move forward and be great.
On Oct. 18, the juvenile accepted a deal that required him to plead guilty to felony assault, two misdemeanor counts of possession of an unregistered firearm, two misdemeanor counts of possession of unregistered ammunition, and two misdemeanor counts of unlawful discharge of a firearm, for his involvement in both incidents.
A Court’s Social Services representative recommended continued detention as he awaits disposition. Prosecutors agreed stating the defendant continues to pose an extreme danger to the community.
According to prosecutors, the juvenile has always had support and good grades, even before the shootings occurred. They commended his efforts and progress in secure detention, but stated that the progress has occurred due to his detainment.
Following the arguments, Judge Salerno stated the juvenile’s conduct was extremely dangerous, and does not want to release him until the appropriate services are set in place.
A new disposition date was set for Dec. 4, and the sentencing will occur with or without the psychiatric evaluation report.Notifications are not yet available for this specific case. Please check back later for updates. Thank you.