Rasheed Murray and Ryan Thompson ask to have cases separated

More than two years after 24-year-old Matthew Jeffrey Roth was killed, Matthew’s father, Dave Roth, and his family and friends sat in a hearing Friday morning set to address the pending case against Rasheed Murray and Ryan Thompson.

The two men, Murray and Thompson, were allegedly drag racing in July 2015 when Murray lost control of his car and struck and killed Matthew Roth. Their trial date is scheduled for September of next year, more than three years after the crash.

In the last hearing, attorneys for both Murray and Thompson disclosed to the judge their intention to file motions to sever in order for the two men to be tried separately. On Friday, the attorneys for defense and prosecution discussed these motions with Judge Milton Lee.

Thompson and Murray’s attorneys argued that the two would need to be tried separately because it could lead to an unfair decision by the jury. However, prosecution argued that evidence brought by witnesses would be enough to persuade the jury’s decision regardless if the trials were held separately. The prosecution also mentioned that it would be difficult for Roth’s loved ones to have to sit through more than one trial.

Judge Lee said he would decide about the severance on Monday, after thinking about it over the weekend.

While the attorneys and the judge were discussing the subject of severance, Roth’s family and friends were sitting in the courtroom, around a photograph of Roth. They all wore bracelets dedicated to him. Roth’s father, Dave Roth, was wearing a jersey adorned with Roth’s name.

Thomson and Murray are set for a trial readiness hearing on July 20, 2018.

Comments

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