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King v. United States

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

August 22, 2013

Rashawn M. KING, Appellant,
v.
UNITED STATES, Appellee.

Argued May 30, 2013.

Page 114

Debra L. Soltis, Washington, DC, for appellant.

James M. Pé rez, Assistant United States Attorney, with whom Ronald C. Machen Jr., United States Attorney, and Elizabeth Trosman, Jennifer Kerkohoff, and Todd Gee, Assistant United States Attorneys, were on the brief, for appellee.

Before GLICKMAN and THOMPSON, Associate Judges, and RUIZ, Senior Judge.

RUIZ, Senior Judge:

Rashawn King appeals his convictions for first-degree murder and related weapons charges. On appeal, he challenges two evidentiary rulings: The admission of evidence of flight and the admission of evidence he claims falsely implicated him in threatening a witness. We conclude there was no error requiring reversal and affirm appellant's convictions.

I.

On October 14, 2008, Toni Smart identified appellant as the man she saw shoot and kill her friend, James Hill, earlier that day.[1] After Smart's identification, police searched for appellant. They obtained a

Page 115

warrant for his mother's house on Howison Street, S.W., where they believed he lived, but did not find him there. The police set up surveillance in the neighborhood and monitored the area for ten days. During the period the police were monitoring the area, they did not see appellant return. Ten days after Hill's death, elsewhere in the District of Columbia, police pursued a vehicle through rush hour traffic after receiving a report of a carjacking. The driver crashed the car and fled on foot, but was eventually caught and arrested. After his arrest, the driver told police his name was " James King." The police later discovered that the name was fake, and that the driver was actually appellant, Rashawn King. Appellant was tried and convicted on carjacking charges before his trial on the murder charges began.[2]

II. Flight Evidence

A.

The Evidence of Flight and the Trial Court's Rulings

Appellant contends that the trial court erred when it allowed the government to present " flight" evidence to the jury as evidence of his consciousness of guilt. Before analyzing the precedents in this jurisdiction governing the admissibility of flight ...


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