Parties Deliver Opening Arguments in Murder Trial

A DC Superior Court judge swore in 14 jurors for a murder trial and parties gave their opening statements.

The defendant, 63-year-old Robert Dean Jr., is charged with first-degree murder while armed for allegedly stabbing 38-year-old Tamiya White in the neck with a screwdriver on March 31, 2018, on the 1000 block of Mount Olivet Road, NE.

During opening arguments, defense attorney Anthony Matthews argued that his client only used lethal force in defense of his own life.

Matthews raised two key points during his opening statement. He said that autopsy reports showed White was under the influence of the drug PCP during the incident and that the DNA swabs of the alleged murder weapon suggest it belonged to the victim. 

The prosecution admitted White’s clothes into evidence to showcase the location of the stab wound. They also showed a video recording recovered from cameras at the crime scene. 

The prosecution called three people to the witness stand. One of White’s relatives was asked to describe the victim’s personality. An eye witness was brought in to clarify the events that took place in the videotape that was admitted. 

A Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) firearms specialist also testified, as he and his partner were the first officers to arrive at the crime scene. The officer’s Body Worn Camera footage was also admitted as evidence. 

Two jurors were excused: one because of COVID-19 related health concerns and another because of family issues.

The trial is scheduled to resume on Oct. 26.