Defense argues incompetency in David Norwood killing

During what was supposed to be his felony arraignment on Friday, the attorneys for Malcolm Cunningham argued the murder suspect is incompetent.

On April 16, police officers found 79-year-old David Norwood, in the 619 block of C St., NE with apparent stab wounds. He was pronounced dead on the scene and taken to a medical examiner shortly after.

A witness gave a tip to an officer that a “suspicious” person with Cunningham’s description had placed in a knife in a recycling bin in the rear ally of the same block. According to charging documents, Cunningham allegedly used a knife to threaten to kill Norwood weeks before the fatal stabbing. According to another witness, Cunningham had allegedly threatened others, including family members, with a knife in the weeks before the incident. Cunningham was arrested and charged with second-degree murder while armed, after the family turned him in.

According to his defense, Cunningham’s “intellectual functioning is extremely low and he is incompetent in not just his mental health, but also in his cognitive ability.” The prosecution asked for the arraignment to continue regardless of his competency in question.

Judge Jose Lopez decided to set the arraignment for a later date after getting a report from defense on his competency. Cunningham is set for another hearing on Jan. 5, 2018.


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,