David Bright rejects plea offer in double homicide case

The man charged with the alleged murder of Clifton Francis, 51, and David Watkins Jr., 45, rejected a plea deal that offered him 20-30 years in prison for each count against him.

David Bright, 29, was offered a plea deal where he would enter a guilty plea for two counts of voluntary manslaughter while armed that would earn him a maximum of  60 years in prison.

After he was brought into the court room, Bright said “Your people tried to kill me, know what happened,” to a family member of the deceased in the audience. He repeated this line twice, followed by a few swears until he was escorted out of the courtroom.

When the defendant returned, he apologized to D.C. Superior Court Judge Jose Lopez for his outburst and Detective Marvin Washington was called to the stand.

Bright has been charged with first-degree murder while armed. Bright lived inside a home with the two men he killed, and a witness who called police after the shooting.

Winters requested that her client be released to a halfway house or on high intensity supervision, because the defendant is employed and has ties to his community and his mother. Winters said there was not enough probable cause in the case against Bright because there is a question of who the initial aggressor was, and said Bright had acted in self-defense.

Judge Lopez rejected Winters’ request to release Bright and ordered him held without bail.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Det. Washington said he was the secondary detective in the investigation for this homicide case. He reviewed the details of the arrest warrant his partner, the lead detective in this investigation, had signed.

Defense attorney Dominique Winters questioned the credibility of the police’s first witness, and pointed to a romantic involvement he had with one victims and his “habitual drug use.”

According to the witness’ testimony in the charging documents, on the day of the shooting“Day-Day” (Bright) ran into the home and up the stairs–and then out again. He came in again and went up and down the stairs, when the witness then heard several “loud bangs” from the living room, where Francis was. The witness told police he saw “Day-Day” with a black handgun, shooting Francis at close range while yelling “This will teach you!”

The witness told police he then heard Watkins yell, “Day-Day what are you doing? You’re crazy!” According to the warrant, Bright then shot Watkins, and then pointed the gun at the witness’ head. The witness ran into a room and called police.

When police showed the witness a line up of photos, including Bright’s, he could not positively identify him. He did, however, give police a phone number that Bright uses. Bright had also filed a police report on Jan. 6 after he was the alleged victim of a theft, and gave the home where the shooting occurred as his address.

Winters asked the detective if the witness ever told him that there were any event before Bright ran upstairs to allegedly get the gun. The detective said the witness told police that there had been a verbal altercation, possibly regarding money, before Bright ran upstairs.

Bright’s next scheduled appearance in court is June 10 for a felony status conference.


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