Parties Question Detective About Evidence Recovered During Homicide Investigation

DC Superior Court Judge Danya Dayson heard arguments on a motion to suppress evidence in a murder case.

Edward Brown, 59, is charged with robbery of a senior citizen while armed and first-degree murder while armed in the stabbing death of 77-year-old Michael Mahoney on Feb. 5, 2018.

Back in 2019, Brown’s attorney at the time, Kevin Irving, motioned to suppress all physical evidence from the apartment in which Mahoney was found. In it, he alleged that officers searched and seized items without a warrant. “Therefore, all evidence theretofore recovered is fruit of the poisonous tree and should be suppressed,” Irving went on to state.

More specifically, Irving alleged in his motion that a forensic scientist responded to the apartment and started searching it before an assistant United States attorney approved the search warrant telephonically and a judge signed it.

During the Nov. 23 hearing, a detective on the case was asked by a prosecutor about whether a key witness, referred to as “W-2”, had further items of evidentiary value on the day of the incident. The detective said W-2 was interviewed at the homicide branch in the late evening but led officers back to her apartment to offer more evidence. 

The detective described W-2 as talkative and cooperative. W-2 reportedly pointed out various clothes in the living room of the one-bedroom apartment, one on which the detective identified clear blood stains. W-2 continued to offer more evidence until advised by officers not to disrupt the scene. The detective said he subsequently initiated a search warrant with an MPD lieutenant, the U.S. attorney’s office and an on-call judge. He also called in uniformed officers, the lead detective in the case and forensic technicians to secure the area for evidence collection.

According to the defense’s motion to suppress, a witness allegedly told police that a person he knew as “Ed” had been in the apartment two days before the homicide, and that he had also seen him there with W-2 on the day of the homicide. W-2 then allegedly told police she let Brown use her apartment while she was away and that he’d changed his clothes there.

Brown’s current defense attorney, Kevin Mosley, asked the detective specifically about the first time he was in W-2’s apartment, prior to her offering more evidence to the officers. He had trouble remembering whether he had even entered W-2’s apartment the first time while responding to the incident. Mosley made clear the timestamps and substance offered by Body Worn Camera (BWC) footage. He also alleged that the detective failed to review crucial evidentiary materials before the hearing.

“We are in a hearing for a motion to suppress evidence,” Mosley said to the detective. “I know this was four years ago, but you didn’t bother to look at any BWC footage before taking the stand today so we’re left here with your memory and you made no effort to refresh your memory.”

“You didn’t prepare for that portion of my questioning, is that correct?” Mosley asked the detective at one point. “No, sir,” the detective replied. “The way you’re asking the question, no sir.”

Judge Dayson continued the motion hearing to Nov. 24. Brown remains held at DC Jail.