DAVID A. SHEPHERD, Appellant,
UNITED STATES, Appellee.
April 13, 2016
from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia Criminal
Division (CF1-9602-12) Hon. Russell F. Canan, Trial Judge)
Deahl, Public Defender Service, with whom James Klein and
Jonathan Anderson, Public Defender Service, were on the
brief, for appellant.
Y. Park, Assistant United States Attorney, with whom Channing
D. Phillips, United States Attorney, and Elizabeth Trosman
and Suzanne Grealy Curt, Assistant United States Attorneys,
were on the brief, for appellee.
BEFORE: Fisher and Thompson, Associate Judges; and Pryor,
case came to be heard on the transcript of record and the
briefs filed, and was argued by counsel. On consideration
whereof, and as set forth in the opinion filed this date, it
is now hereby
ED and ADJUDGED that the matter on appeal is affirmed.
R. FISHER ASSOCIATE JUDGE.
David Shepherd appeals his convictions related to the
shooting death of Henry Miller. He contends that the trial
court erred by excluding details of Miller's past assault
on an ex-girlfriend. Appellant also argues that the trial
court erred by leaving the record uncorrected after the
government mischaracterized the evidence in rebuttal
argument. We hold that the trial court did not abuse its
discretion with respect to the prior act of violence and,
although the prosecutor misstated certain evidence, the
misstatements did not substantially prejudice appellant.
Accordingly, we affirm.
2, 2012, appellant David Shepherd agreed to help his coworker
James Ingram and Ingram's wife, Jayda Ingram, move. James
and appellant worked together at Bowie Lawn Service, and,
from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., they used two of the company's
white work trucks to move the Ingrams' possessions.
During that time, appellant spoke to Jayda about some
personal issues he was having with his wife. After appellant
and the Ingrams parted ways, James and Jayda picked up
James's first cousin, Henry Charles Miller
("Chuck" or "Miller"), from his home in
southeast D.C. They drove to a liquor store where they
purchased some vodka and then drove to 1128 Chicago Street,
S.E. - arriving around 11 p.m. - after James received a call
from one of his tenants there.
Jayda pulled up to 1128 Chicago Street, the white work truck
that appellant had been driving earlier in the day was parked
out front. After helping the Ingrams, appellant had gone to
the house to socialize with some of the tenants with whom he
was friends. During that time, appellant also called his
wife, "got a little agitated, " said
"something like 'I should kill her, '" and
then later said "I keep it with me." The tenant who
heard these statements did not remember how much time
separated "I should kill her" from "I keep it
with me" and did not understand what appellant meant.
James and Chuck got out of the truck, James went into the
house and Milton Dickerson (one of the tenants, who was
"like an uncle" to Jayda) came to sit next to her
in the passenger side of the truck. Jayda "started to
pull out drinks" and poured one each for herself, Chuck,
and Milton. A couple of minutes later, Chuck followed James
into the house to look for cigarettes, and appellant joined
the "social atmosphere near the truck."
stood outside the truck by the passenger side door, and
"started to elaborate [to Jayda] . . . about the
[upsetting] situation . . . going on between him and his
[wife]." Shortly thereafter, Chuck returned, stood
"directly behind [appellant], and said 'excuse
me'" because, according to Jayda's testimony,
"the cigarettes were on the dashboard inside of the
truck." This irritated appellant, who started yelling,
"[D]on't you see me fucking talking? You better get
the fuck back. You rude ass [racial epithet]."
abandoned his attempt to get the cigarettes and walked away,
saying, "Man, whatever." This reaction seemed to
aggravate Shepherd, who, "[en]raged and upset, "
continued to yell at Chuck, saying things like, "you
don't know who the fuck I am." Eventually, Chuck
started to get upset when he "felt like his manhood was
being tested[, ]" and he started "saying things
back" to appellant. At some point during the heated
argument, Jayda tried explaining to appellant that Chuck was
her cousin, but appellant said, "I don't give a fuck