Preliminary Hearing Resumes Against Co-Defendants Charged With Homicide

Thank you for reading D.C. Witness. Help us continue our mission into 2024.

Donate Now

On Jan. 22, DC Superior Court Judge Maribeth Raffinan continued a preliminary hearing for two co-defendants charged with two homicides.

Deangelo Opey, 31, is charged with second-degree murder while armed for his alleged involvement in the death of Anthony Weathers, 25, on the 300 block of V Street, NE. Weathers was found by responding officers on the 2000 block of 4th Street, NE, on Oct. 31, 2012. 

Gregory Smithwick, 31, is charged with first-degree murder while armed for his alleged involvement in the death of Vernon Davis, 34, on the 1900 block of 3rd Street, NE, on Sept 13, 2013.

Opey and Smithwick are co-defendants because prosecutors believe that Smithwick killed Davis because he was potentially a witness in a case against Opey.

In this continued preliminary hearing, the lead detective in the case from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) returned to the stand. His involvement began in 2019 after the previous lead detective retired.

The current lead detective testified that, while many witnesses initially came forward with information regarding the shooting, there was only one who claimed to be an eyewitness. The detective also testified that another witness was deceased, and that two other witnesses had allegedly lied in front of a jury.

Opey’s defense attorney, Roderick Thompson, and Smithwick’s defense attorney, James King, both claim that there is insufficient evidence to prove either defendant’s involvement in the homicides. 

In reference to witnesses who allegedly committed perjury, Thompson said their evidence consisted of speculation and rumor. He questioned why the original detectives had not tested the eyewitnesses’ phone records to prove they were in the area at the time of the shooting.

King said even though cell phone towers allegedly placed Smithwick in the area at the time of the homicide, this was an area the defendant frequented. Moreover, this was the only evidence presented against his client outside of witness testimony.

Finally, the prosecution presented new evidence in the form of an affidavit that allegedly showed a previous instance in which a witness suspected of perjury had given accurate testimony. 

Due to this new evidence, Judge Raffinan scheduled a continuation of the preliminary hearing for a probable cause ruling. 

Parties are slated to reconvene Jan. 30.

Follow this case