Judge Finds Substantial Probability for Murder Defendant

Judge Juliet McKenna said Feb. 2, the prosecution along with Metropolitan Police Department Detective Gabriel Truby presented enough evidence to find substantial probability for Kevin Lamont Smith to stand trial.

Smith, 47, is charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 55-year-old Valerie Regina Coleman on Dec. 2, 2017.

McKenna said that although there was no clear evidence of a motive, there was evidence that could show Smith committed the murder.

The judge cited Truby’s testimony that Smith’s girlfriend reported being awaken that morning by Smith tapping a gun on her head, telling her to check on her mother.

McKenna also referenced an altercation that another witness reported between Smith and his girlfriend.

“If I got to go, she got to go,” Smith apparently told his girlfriend when he was asked to leave the residence located on the 1700 Block of 16th Street, SE, the night before the homicide.

Even though the defense team argued that there were too many inconsistencies with timing and the girlfriend’s statements to find probable cause, McKenna said her ruling was based on the fact that shell casings found near the victim’s bed and inside the body bag matched the type of gun, a .380 semi-automatic, found on Smith when he was arrested.

McKenna said that when Smith told his girlfriend to check on her mother, he could have been admitting guilt. She said that it is reasonable to infer that Smith could have killed the girlfriend’s mother to hurt her.

Smith rejected the prosecution’s plea deal that would have reduced the possibility of his sentence from 60 years-to-life to 40 years-to-life.

A felony status conference is scheduled for April 13.


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