Two of Three Homicide Co-Defendants Waive Right to Independent DNA Testing

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On Oct. 27, two of three co-defendants in a homicide matter alerted DC Superior Court Judge Michael O’Keefe that they were waiving their rights to independently test DNA evidence recovered from the crime scene. 

Daivion Williams, 25, Dijon Williams, 24, and Steven Washington, 24, are charged with first-degree murder while armed with aggravating circumstances, conspiracy, attempt to commit robbery while armed, carrying a pistol without a license, and two counts of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, for their alleged involvement in the death of 30-year-old Nurudeen Thomas on the 1400 block of 14th Street, NW, on July 21, 2020. 

Prosecutors alerted the court they are not planning to test any evidence for DNA evidence, but that they had collected several items from the crime scene, including but not limited to two firearms, ammunition, a key fob, drug paraphernalia, and swabs from an Infiniti automobile. 

Pierce Suen and David Knight, Dijon’s defense attorneys, alerted the court they were planning to test certain items, but were unable to list them during the hearing. They stated they would send a proposed order to Judge O’Keefe’s chambers in the coming weeks. 

Davion and Washington waived their rights to independently test DNA evidence, and understood that they would not be able to request it be tested again.

Andrew Ain and Errin Scialpi, attorneys for Daivion, requested he be released under home confinement, stating that he has learned a “harsh lesson for his prior non-compliance” while he was previously released and living in Georgia. Ain requested he be placed under home confinement due to his presumption of innocence, which was quickly contradicted by Judge O’Keefe, who stated “presumption of innocence has nothing to do with release”.

Judge O’Keefe argued Daivion had been released in 2020 due to the pandemic, and had “violated his conditions time and time again,” even before he was assigned to Judge O’Keefe’s calendar. According to Judge O’Keefe, Brandt revoked Daivion’s release in July of 2022. 

Daivion was deemed a danger to the community by Judge O’Keefe, and will continue to be detained as he awaits trial, which is scheduled for April 22, 2024. Daivion’s mother, who appeared remotely, requested to speak to Judge O’Keefe, but was denied.

Washington remains on release, and Dijon continues to be held at Dodge State Prison in Georgia, where he’s serving a sentence for an unrelated matter that occurred in another jurisdiction.

Parties are expected back in court on April 5, 2024 for a trial readiness hearing. 

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