Motley Holds to Trial Date in Joseph Alonzo Sharps Jr. Murder Trial

A jury trial date has been set for the two men accused of killing 17-year-old Springarn High School student Joseph Alonzo Sharps Jr. in November 2010.

Kwan Kearney and Larnell Allen appeared in court Tuesday for a status conference in the case. Kearney is also suspected in the death of Jamal Wilson, six days after Sharps was killed. Status hearings for both cases were heard together Tuesday.

Kearney and Allen were indicted in Sharps death by the Grand Jury in May, each on one count of first degree murder while armed with the aggravating circumstance that the murder was a drive-by or random shooting. They are both also charged with various counts of unlawful weapon possession and assault with intent to kill and aggravated assault. The assault charges are in connection with Sharps’ friend, who was injured in the same shooting.

The friend told police that he and Sharps were crossing Neal Street in D.C.’s Trinidad neighborhood when they were confronted by three men, according to the criminal complaints against Allen and Kearney. The complaint alleges Kearney asked the teens “Are you reaching? Are you reaching?” then “pulled out a handgun” and began shooting at them.

The injured teen identified Allen in a photo array as being with Kearney at the shooting. According to the complaint, he told police of Allen, “I see him, number 6. He was just there, he didn’t do nothing. But I fell to the ground and really don’t know what he did.”

Assistant US Attorney David Saybolt warned Judge Thomas Motley on Tuesday that delays in DNA processing could mean that evidence is not processed in time for trial. Motley, however, urged Saybolt and Kearney’s and Allen’s defense attorneys that he was not inclined to postpone the trial date.

Kearney and Allen are scheduled to stand trial Oct. 31. Status hearings are set in the case for July 22 and Aug. 23.

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