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DC Superior Court Judge Rainey Brandt Issues a Ruling In The June Homicide Case

Judge Rainey Brandt ruled on the June homicide case.

DC Superior Court Judge Rainey Brandt Issues a Ruling In The June Homicide Case (Photo: VOA News)

In a homicide case from June, Judge Rainey Brandt of the DC Superior Court found on August 17 that the prosecutor’s evidence met the minimal standards for probable cause.

Maurice Robinson, 24, was shot on June 12 in the 2900 block of Southern Avenue, Southeast, and passed away from his wounds on June 13. 

David Pena, 46, is accused of being a party to the incident and is facing a charge of second-degree murder while armed.

In accordance with the documents from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), which a detective in a hearing on August 16 adopted as testimony, the shooting incident was the outcome of a street brawl that broke out after one group arrived at the crime scene and allegedly attempted to start a fight with a member of Pena’s family.

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Based on the surveillance video, Pena shoots Robinson five times, injuring his back four times, as the fight starts to wind down. 

The medical examiner’s report states that Robinson’s aorta, trachea, and esophagus were seriously injured by the gunshots. 

Judge Rainey Brandt claimed that the evidence proved probable cause that Pena fired the gun that killed Robinson after watching the incident’s CCTV film and citing the testimony of many witnesses who identified Pena as the shooter.

Pena’s defense counsel, Dana Page, said during the hearing on August 16 that Pena was protecting himself and his daughter from the people who had come to attack her. 

Judge Rainey Brandt said that the proof does not indicate that [Pena] was protecting anyone. Robinson was walking away from Pena when he fired. 

Judge Rainey Brandt remarked that it was “a very unusual way to settle one’s own concerns.

Upon Judge Rainey Brandt’s decision, the defense asked that Pena be granted liberty while they are waiting for the verdict of the case, claiming that he has decent work, has a place to live, and is supported by his family, friends, and neighbors. 

The apartment where Pena’s daughter lives was set on fire a day after the incident, Page continued, so Pena is worried about their safety and wellbeing. 

Pena was forbidden from owning any firearms as a result of two prior convictions for gun possession, according to the prosecution. 

They further upheld that the murder weapon has not yet been located and expressed worry that, in the event of Pena’s release, he would still have access to the weapon. 

Judge Rainey Brandt said if one would anticipate that he had surely learned his lesson after receiving two convictions for possession, upon denying the application for release. 

Judge Rainey Brandt stated that a multi-homicide case may have easily resulted from this. It was completely risky. 

Judge Brandt was concerned about what would happen if the man was let go. I’m worried that someone may take revenge or that he would do anything else to defend his family, Judge Rainey Brandt said.

There is no circumstance, or set of circumstances, that can feasibly guarantee that [Pena] won’t pose a threat to the neighborhood, Judge Rainey Brandt claimed. 

On December 4, parties are anticipated to return to review the status of the indictment. 

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