Preliminary Hearing for 17-year-old Murder Defendant Begins

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Feb. 19 marked the first day of a hearing to determine if a murder case has enough evidence to go to trial. A DC Superior Court judge continued it due to time constraints.

Deon Walters is charged with first-degree murder while armed for allegedly shooting 42 year-old Arthur Daniels IV on Oct. 1, 2020, on the 6000 block of 8th Street, NW. 

During the proceeding, the lead Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) detective on the case testified that surveillance footage taken from a nearby building shows Walters vehicle circling the neighborhood multiple times before parking outside of the victim’s residence.

According to the same detective, the victim and defendant began arguing; however, this is not shown on screen in the security footage. The victim can be heard saying he is unarmed and begging the individual alleged to be Walters not to shoot him. 

Six gunshots are then heard in the background of the video. 

According to text messages between Walters and Daniels, the victim agreed to sell the defendant a firearm prior to the homicide. 

A witness interviewed by detectives on the scene described the assailant as being a slim-build, Black male with a medium complexion in his late teens. The witness’ description of the shooter matched Walters. 

Evidence taken from an FBI cellular analysis on the defendant’s cellphone placed Walters’ phone at the crime scene during the time of the incident.

Shortly after the defense began its cross-examination of the MPD detective, the hearing was put on recess due to time constraints. The hearing is scheduled to resume on Feb. 25. 

Walters, who is being charged as an adult, is currently being held in the custody of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS), where he has been since his presentment hearing on Dec. 19, 2020. 

Judge Neal Kravitz denied the defense’s request for Walters to be released into house confinement. 

At an earlier hearing in January, defense attorney Ronald Resetarits asked that the preliminary hearing be scheduled for the earliest possible date, raising doubts that probable cause could be found.

This article was written by McKenzie Beard. 

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