April 5, 2019
from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia
(CF1-18130-18) (Hon. Craig Iscoe, Trial Judge)
Veronice A. Holt for appellant.
Honold, Assistant United States Attorney, with whom Jessie K.
Liu, United States Attorney, and Elizabeth Trosman, Elizabeth
H. Danello, John Timmer, and Melissa Jackson, Assistant
United States Attorneys, were on the brief, for appellee.
Fam and Alice Wang were on the brief for amicus curiae Public
Easterly and McLeese, Associate Judges, and Washington,
MCLEESE, ASSOCIATE JUDGE
Darrise Jeffers appeals from the trial court's order
detaining Mr. Jeffers pending trial pursuant to D.C. Code
§ 23-1325 (2012 Repl.). After briefing and oral
argument, the court issued an emergency order remanding the
case for further proceedings. We now publish this opinion to
explain our ruling more fully.
December 2018, Mr. Jeffers was charged with first-degree
murder while armed. After a detention hearing in January
2019, the trial court ordered Mr. Jeffers held without bond
pending trial, pursuant to D.C. Code § 23-1325(a) (2012
summary, the evidence at the detention hearing as to the
charged offense was as follows. At about 8 p.m. on July 16,
2018, several people were shot in an area known as Clay
Terrace. One of them, a ten-year-old child, died as a result.
Four people fired shots at the scene. Shell casings recovered
from the scene indicated that at least four different weapons
were fired, including a nine-millimeter weapon, a .45-caliber
weapon, and a 5.56-millimeter rifle. The shooters, several of
whom wore gloves, arrived at the scene in a black Infiniti.
The Infiniti, which had previously been stolen in an armed
carjacking, was found the next morning in Maryland.
Ballistics and other evidence tied the Infiniti to the
shooting and to various members of a "crew" known
as Wellington Park. Wellington Park was in a dispute with
another group known as Clay Terrace. The feud may have
stemmed from a prior incident in October 2017 in which a
member of Wellington Park was shot.
Jeffers was a member of Wellington Park. About a week before
the shooting, he exchanged text messages with Marquell Cobbs,
another member of Wellington Park. The text messages
indicated that Mr. Jeffers had a pistol that could have been
a nine-millimeter. The same day, Mr. Cobbs communicated about
guns with Qujuan Thomas, another member of Wellington Park.
day of the shooting, Quentin Michals, another Wellington Park
member, communicated with Mr. Thomas and Gregory Taylor (yet
another member of Wellington Park) about obtaining firearms
and recruiting other members of Wellington Park to
participate in a planned shooting. About a half-hour before
the shooting, a security camera filmed Mr. Jeffers, Mr.
Michals, and others walking out of 2508 Pomeroy Road SE at
various points. Mr. Jeffers lived at 2506 Pomeroy. The black
Infiniti that was later involved in the shooting was parked
outside of 2508 Pomeroy, as was a silver BMW. Mr. Jeffers
remained outside 2508 Pomeroy, at times speaking with Mr.
Cobbs and two others. Several people, some wearing hoodies
and/or gloves, got into the two cars. It was a very hot day,
with a high temperature of 95 degrees. After speaking to one
of the passengers in the BMW, Mr. Jeffers went back into 2508
Pomeroy, returned with a pair of sneakers, and handed the
sneakers to one of the passengers.
cars then drove off at about 7:35 p.m. Shortly thereafter,
the silver BMW returned, driven by Mr. Michals. As previously
noted, the shooting occurred at approximately 8 p.m. In the
following twenty minutes, other members of Wellington Park
returned on foot to the area outside 2508 Pomeroy. Mr.
Jeffers was sitting outside 2508 Pomeroy during this period,
at times talking with others including Mr. Michals. A couple
of hours later, Mr. ...