Judge denies defense’s request to release murder suspect

The judge denied the defense’s request to release Leonard Smith, who is currently being held for 25-year old Leonte Butler’s alleged murder.

In court Tuesday, Smith’s lawyer Anthony Matthews requested that his client be released because it should have been another person arrested and “not his client.”

According to the government, the first 20 pages of the affidavit indicate that a person included in the warrant, identified as the “third witness” saw Smith stabbing Butler.

Matthews argued this person was on “the scene” when the incident occurred and there was “weak probable cause” in the affidavit to hold Smith. He also said the affidavit does not explain what the third witness was doing.

The judge denied Matthews’ request to release Smith and argued that there is no “condition of release” that would “assure the safety of the community.”

Smith has prior convictions including. According to the judge, Smith has a “number of charges” including threats and has been “issued” a bench warrant at least “four times” the judge said in court Tuesday.

When police arrived on the 4000 block of South Capitol St. SE last month, they found Butler fighting for his life as he suffered from multiple stab wounds. He died at the scene.

Smith is being held without bond and has been charged with second-degree murder while armed. He is expected back in court on April 21.


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