Judge denies severance in Maurice Bellamy’s two cases

In a status hearing on Thursday, Judge Lynn Leibovitz denied severance for the man who is accused of allegedly murdering an off-duty Secret Service officer and a 15-year-old.

Maurice Bellamy is being charged with first-degree murder while armed for allegedly fatally shooting Arthur Baldwin. In this case, he has previously pleaded not guilty to his charges and is being held without bail. Another man, Charles Sims, has already been sentenced earlier this year as part of a plea deal.

Bellamy is also being held without bail and charged with second-degree murder for the murder of Davonte Washington in Deanwood metro station. The 15-year-old was on his way to a haircut with his family when Bellamy allegedly approached and fatally shot him.

Bellamy’s attorney requested severance of his two cases in order to prevent any prejudice from the jury during trial. The defense counsel argued that it would be likely that the jury would find him guilty of the other murder if he was found guilty for one of them. The government opposed this request.

According to his arrest warrant, Bellamy used a .38 caliber pistol in the Baldwin shooting. This pistol was found consistent with the gun allegedly used in the murder of Davonte Washington. The prosecution’s argument for opposition to this request was that the two cases should be tried together, since the same gun was used for both. The government also mentioned that one of the witnesses would be used for both cases and was at the scene for both, which would require the jury to be made aware of both cases regardless of if they were severed.

Judge Leibovitz said that there was a large “overlap” in the evidence used in both cases and denied the request for severance. Bellamy is currently set for trial on Feb. 26, 2018, and he has another hearing scheduled for Jan. 12.

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