Details of the murder of Deonta Farrar were discussed in cour this week.
Saeed Woodall allegedly fatally shot 32-year-old Deonta Farrar on Aug. 9, 2016, in the 4500 block of Quarles Street, NE. Farrar was found by police suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.
In court on Thursday, the prosecutor called the lead MPD homicide detective in Farrar’s case to testify about the homicide. He was questioned about the arrest warrant he had initially written for Woodall, along with changes in the testimony of some witnesses.
A witness referred to as witness three, changed her testimony from what was initially indicated in the arrest warrant. Another witness, referred to as witness six, allegedly ran into witness three and noticed that witness three had been assaulted.
The detective also answered questions about the crime scene, starting with describing the surveillance cameras in the area. He was shown, as evidence, multiple images from different cameras that showed a car that was allegedly driven by Woodall during the time of the murder.
Woodall’s attorney objected to the prosecutor referring to the surveillance footage from the cameras, because the videos had not yet been released to the defense. The judge dismissed the objection and allowed the prosecutor to refer to the footage in questioning the detective.
The detective also mentioned how he interviewed Woodall when he voluntarily came to his office, but it only lasted for a short time because Woodall requested an attorney.
The detective said six forty-caliber cases recovered, along with metal fragments. One of these fragments that was recovered, was found pancaked, which means that it hit an object while coming straight down.
In the cross-examination of the detective, the defense asked questions about the surveillance footage. He asked the detective if he had shown any witnesses the videos, in which the detective replied that he had not. The detective also answered questions about witness three, who he had conducted an interview with. He said that, on the day after the murder, witness three did not appear to have a knot on her head indicated she had not been assaulted.
The next set of questions were all about the alleged car used during the crime. The detective mentioned that nobody at the apartment complex, in which Woodall lived, was aware of him having a white car. The white car that is seen in the surveillance footage, was registered to the estranged girlfriend of Woodall.
When the estranged girlfriend interviewed with the detective, she had been upset because she wanted some of her stuff back from her car, which had been taken by the detective. The defense claimed that this impacted her story to the detective.
Woodall’s attorney mentioned how he was a poster child for Mayor Benson’s youth program.
Woodall’s attorney remarked that witness three had changed her story to include her being struck by a closed fist four times. He also said that the phone records, collected by the detective, didn’t place Woodall at the scene of the murder.
There was also an alleged exchange between Woodall and another man, in which an unknown item that could’ve been a gun, was transferred from the man outside the car to Woodall.
The defense concluded questioning by asking the detective why footage of the detective hadn’t collected video of this alleged exchange in Chinatown, which has many cameras. The detective said that he had not considered it necessary during his investigation. He also asked why no efforts were made to identify a person who was seen running from the scene.
Judge Hiram Puig-Lugo ruled that their was probable cause to find that Woodall had committed the crime.
After hearing the ruling, the defense asked for supervised release but this request was denied. He also asked for his client be transferred to the Correctional Treatment Facility, a lower security prison, due to Woodall having bad asthma. This request was denied and the judge said he could sign a medical alert.
Lastly, the defense again made a request for the surveillance footage, but the judge said that this could be taken care of later.
They are set to reappear on Nov. 3 for a status hearing.