Attorneys go head to head in the days leading up to James Anderson murder trial

Less than a week before the start of James Anderson’s murder trial, defense and prosecution attorneys sparred over what information could and could not be included in the trial.

In a status hearing Wednesday, Judge Milton Lee agreed with the defense that an email detailing information of another potential suspect in the murder of Anderson, 27, had been wrongly suppressed from them as they prepared for trial.

The defense attempted to file a motion that would mandate the jury be made aware the prosecution had a role in the suppression of the evidence. Lee shot down the motion immediately, and said the blame for the suppression “laid squarely in the lap of the Metropolitan Police Department.”

According to the defense, the email was written days after Anderson’s death in January 2015 when police say 21-year-old Dujuan Garris shot and killed Anderson in Truxton Circle. However, the defense was only made aware of the email in January 2017, two years after the murder.

The defense argued the late discovery potentially hindered their case because they didn’t have enough time to investigate this potential lead.

According to the prosecution, a detective on the case was approached by a witnesses who allegedly spoke with the mother of decedent’s child and was told Anderson was threatened by a person named Travis. However, the mother of the decedent’s children later recanted that statement.

Garris is being held without bond and is expected to be in court March 6 for the start of his trial.

Comments

Comment guidelines:

D.C. Witness is a place where we want our community to come to remember loved ones and comment on homicide cases. These discussions often entail topics that we all personally care a lot about and will passionately discuss. But in order for discussions to thrive here, we need to set a few ground rules. Comments will be edited or deleted if they include vulgarity, name-calling, cursing or inflammatory language. Comments that include unverified information, slander, or hateful speech will be deleted. We reserve the right to edit comments to ensure they reflect the intent of the writer but make them publishable. If you believe your comment has been edited or deleted in error, please contact Jennifer Swift, swift@dcwitness.org