Parties Prepare for Murder Trial as DC Jail Re-Opens for Contact Visitation

As the DC Jail re-opens for contact visitation, detained defendants like 37-year-old Travis Russell can potentially gain more access to their legal counsel as they fight their cases.

Russell allegedly stabbed 44-year-old Michael Hooker to death with a sharp piece of glass on the 2700 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE, on May 26, 2019.  When he was apprehended that same day, Russell had a noticeable cut on his left hand and his right arm was in a sling, according to court documents. The defendant was charged with first-degree murder while armed and has been held in jail ever since.

Defense attorney Mani Golzari requested a three-week continuance during the most recent hearing for this case on Feb. 9. The jail had not been allowing contact visitations to take place, and Russell said he cannot go over all the evidence with his client over the phone or with a glass barrier.

The DC Jail has set a Feb. 14 date for re-opening contact visitation.

DC Superior Court Judge Maribeth Raffinan scheduled parties to reconvene on March 31. Russell is scheduled to go to trial this coming June. In preparation for the trial, motions are due by March 21 with responses due by April 11.