Shooting Defendant Found Guilty On All Charges

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On June 7, a jury found Joshua Hemphill guilty on 22 separate charges.

Hemphill, 33, was convicted for his involvement in a non-fatal shooting that took place on September 21, 2018, on the 2400 block of Wagner Place SE. The counts include assault with intent to kill, possession of a firearm, obstruction of justice, burglary, destruction of property and threat to kidnap or injure.

Of the two victims, one was uninjured while the other received gunshot wounds to the back of the left hand and the back of the head but survived. She was pregnant at the time.

In the prosecutors’ version the defendant “wreaked havoc on two defenseless women,” while  defense attorneys maintained their client’s innocence stating, “The person who shot [the victims] on September 21st, 2018, is not in the courtroom.” The defense said there was no physical evidence tying Hemphill to the shooting.

While the prosecution called both of the alleged victims as witnesses, it was clear they did not want to testify about the incident.  They were often unresponsive to questions, became unruly and had to be detained by US Marshals to finish their testimony.

Prosecutors also called on a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officer, who was the first on scene, and a forensic scientist who processed the recovered evidence including body camera footage, a 911 call made by the victims, and photos from the crime scene.

Other prosecution evidence included social media and telephone records purportedly linking Hemphill to one of the victims. 

A neurosurgeon and a psychologist provided their views about the physical and emotional impact of the shooting.  

The neurosurgeon explained the victim’s condition and the operation that followed. He said the shooting caused  “one of the most serious injuries you can have to your brain,” arguing, the victim would’ve died without surgery. 

Prosecutors also questioned a psychologist about the different reasons a person might stay in  an abusive, intimidating relationship. 

After three days, both parties rested their case without the defense calling any witnesses. 

The jury deliberated for only a day, before finding Hemphill guilty of all charges. 
 Sentencing before DC Superior Court Judge Lynn Leibovitz is scheduled for Aug. 11.

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