Parties Argue Over Lack of Indictment Nearly 15 Months After Murder Defendant’s Arrest

Parties argued during an arraignment hearing over why the prosecutor had failed to file an indictment by the time the proceedings were held.

Nathaniel Bates is charged with first-degree murder while armed for allegedly killing Eddie Crist on May 8, 2020, on the 4000 block of South Capitol Terrace, SW. His presence was waved in this hearing due to his being in quarantine at DC Jail. This case was supposed to receive an indictment during the Dec. 17 hearing.

The prosecutor said that due to some general issues they are having which mostly include the rise in COVID cases in the District, they were unable to reach an indictment by the time this hearing rolled around.

“It’s not for a lack of effort,” the prosecutor said, explaining how their office has many cases to indict and are going through them as efficiently as possible.

Parties went back and forth arguing over why an indictment had not been filed, with defense attorney Prescott Loveland noting how the COVID cases only began rising recently yet 38-year-old Bates was arrested nearly 15 months ago and has been held in jail ever since.

“We can’t just keep using COVID as an excuse,” Loveland said.

Loveland orally motioned for Bates to be released into home confinement because of how long he has been held without an indictment.

DC Superior Court Judge Danya Dayson spoke with the prosecutor outside of open court regarding their reasonings for not having the indictment. She went on to explain that she does not believe the prosecutor has abandoned the indictment.

She scheduled another hearing. She said Loveland can recall the issues he presented today at that hearing.