Case Acquitted: Prosecution Focuses on Surveillance Footage From Night of Murder During Closing Arguments

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This case was acquitted on Dec. 16, 2022.

During closing arguments on Dec. 15, a prosecutor played surveillance footage from the night of the murder and went into great detail about everything that occurred in the video as well as the circumstances he believed led to the murder.

Reginald Hooks, 37,  is charged with second-degree murder while armed for allegedly stabbing 22-year-old Dy’Mani Priestley on Jan. 5, 2020, on the 1200 block of U Street, NW.

“The defendant snatched the victim Dy’Mani Priestley’s life away,” the prosecutor said. “None of this needed to happen. It was a fight that should’ve remained a fight.”

According to the prosecutor, Priestley was seen playfully hanging with friends in front of the Amsterdam Lounge.

During this time, one of Priestley’s friends, who was a witness in the case, said something to one of the women that was seen hanging with Hooks. The women seemed to respond playfully to what the friend said. The women and the witness were seen laughing.

The witness was also seen making a smacking gesture across one of the women’s faces in a playful manner.

As soon as that occurred, Hooks hit the witness and everyone began to get into a physical fist fight.

Hooks is then seen walking towards one of the women and standing there for a couple of minutes. The fight seemed to have ended, the prosecutor said.

He continued by telling the jury that Priestley then rolled a joint and hung with friends.

The witness who was involved in the psychical altercation with Hooks, approached Priestley, and shook his hand and began talking with him.

A few minutes later, Hooks is seen walking up to the witness and, according to other witnesses, Priestley’s friend said “round two” as Hooks approached them.

Priestley was in between Hooks and the witness. As Hooks took two steps towards them, both men took steps back.

Hooks is then seen striking Priestley in the chest, the prosecutor said.

According to the prosecutor, the defendant was the only person that night that struck Priestley in the chest and the only person that could have caused the stab wound to the victim’s chest.

During the rest of the prosecutor’s closing arguments, he went over several accounts from witnesses about what Hooks told them following the murder.

The prosecutor showed the jury the interview of one of Hook’s friends.

The friend told the detective that he saw Hooks playing with a 3-4 inch knife at the club the night of the murder.

He also said that after the murder, Hooks admitted to him that he did it. “They tried to jump me so I poked him,” the witness said Hooks told him.

The prosecutor also told the court that one of the women, who was close friends with Hooks, told detectives that Hooks said, “fuck that, he was in your face. He did what he did and I did what I did.”

According to the woman, Hooks also said, “You know y’all my sisters. You know I’d do time for y’all. He hit you, so he got what he got.”

The prosecutor emphasized that the motive behind the murder was that Hooks’ ego was bruised since he was the first to throw the punch, but the last to get up.

“He got embarrassed by his love interest and his fellow bouncers,” he said.

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