Parties Await Judge’s Decision on Defense Motion to Suppress Evidence in Homicide Case

After hearing arguments on a defense motion to suppress evidence obtained during an investigation into a 2016 homicide, a DC Superior Court judge decided he would wait to make a ruling.

Clinton Womack, 31, is charged with first-degree murder while armed in the shooting of 45-year-old Terry Crutchfield on the 1500 block of Olive Street, NE, on Dec. 6, 2016.

Defense attorney Steven Kiersch is arguing that a search of Womack’s phone violated his Fourth Amendment rights.

A little over three weeks after the homicide, Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) detectives executed a search warrant on a 1993 burgundy Lexus as part of their investigation, according to court documents. Detectives found an automatic handgun, an extended magazine and Womack’s phone in the car. Detectives then got another warrant to search the phone and, according to parties, found internet searches that the prosecution now wants to use against Womack. 

Kiersch filed the motion to suppress the evidence found on the phone in April.

In it, he states that “the warrant to search the digital contents of the cellphone was far too overbroad, was lacking in specificity and failed to establish in any manner the specific information that was being sought.”

However, during the June 11 hearing, the prosecution compared a phone to a personal journal, arguing that, if the government wants to search a journal, the warrant does not need to be as specific in what it is trying to find.

Judge Milton Lee did not make a decision on the motion but said he will rule on it and give his ruling to parties as soon as possible. 

Womack has been held at DC Jail since December 2016. They were scheduled to go to trial once in 2018, twice in 2019 and once again in 2020, D.C. Witness previously reported. He is currently scheduled to go before a jury in 2023.

Womack is also charged with possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, first-degree armed burglary, attempted armed robbery, armed robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm with a prior conviction in this case. 

Womack’s next hearing is scheduled for June 22. 

Tory Lysik wrote this article.