Release Denied for Murder Defendant Involved in DC Jail Lawsuit

A murder defendant, who is also a party in a lawsuit against the DC Department of Corrections (DC DOC), was denied release on April 13 in response to an emergency motion filed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Edward Banks pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter for the death of 45-year-old Abraham Binn at a homeless shelter on the 2700 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE on Aug. 20. Banks pleaded guilty in February.

DC Superior Court Judge Anita Joesy-Herring denied Banks’ request for the time being while his defense attorney, Ieshaah Murphy, gathers more information to provide more reasoning for his release.

D.C. Witness previously reported that during a preliminary hearing Judge Juliet Mckenna said that since Banks, 48, used, “significant force,” it shows that he was “attempting to inflict some sort of additional harm to Binn.”Judge McKenna found probable cause that Banks killed Binn.

Banks is scheduled for a another bond review hearing on April 17.

Lawsuit

Banks is one of four defendants suing DC DOC. The lawsuit against the department was filed on March 30. According to the inmate’s complaint, the DC DOC has “proven that it will not, and cannot, ensure the reasonable health and safety of its residents.”

According to court documents, two of the defendants are being held in the Central Detention Facility, while the other two or being held in the Correctional Treatment Facility. The inmates are suing the DC DOC for violating their fifth and eighth amendment rights

The inmates also took out a temporary restraining order against Quincy Booth, director of the DC DOC and Lennard Johnson, DC DOC’s warden.

In an opposition to the TRO, the DC DOC states that “the allegations the [inmates] proffer to support their arguments do not reflect the extensive measures [DC] DOC has taken to address the rapidly unfolding events of the pandemic.”

A teleconference for the lawsuit is set to take place on April 15 before Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.