Aaron Adams was released today after Judge Gerald Fisher found probable cause—but not the stronger “substantial probability” prosecutors sought—to believe that Adams was the person responsible for fatally stabbing Garrett White Memorial Day weekend in a large fight outside a Georgia Avenue bar.
Adams is suspected of second degree murder. He was arrested after White, lying injured in the street, told officers: “Ace did this to me. He stabbed me.”
Friends of the men, and people who were at the same bar the night of the stabbing, identified Adams as “Ace” to police. Investigators have not yet identified any witnesses to the stabbing.
Fisher rejected the government’s request that he find “substantial probability” in the case, saying White’s is the only identification of Adams as the perpetrator and that that identification is weak because White was likely drinking and fighting the night he was killed. He released Adams, saying that he did not believe he presented a danger to society.
At the preliminary hearing Thursday morning, MPD Homicide Detective Sean Caine testified that witnesses to the fight said White had been “wilding out,” and had punched two women in their faces and, when a man came to the women’s defense, he punched him, dropping him to the ground.
Caine testified that that incident agitated a crowd who had gathered with White outside the bar, a crowd that witnesses said included Adams.
“We don’t have the whole story of everything that happened yet,” Caine told the court.
Families of both men were in court for the preliminary hearing, and White’s family was upset that Adams was released into the custody of a halfway house.
White’s aunt, Dorothy Walker, said she was surprised to hear details about the fight.
“If he were provoked, he would defend himself,” she said of her nephew. “But he’s not the type to strike someone. He loved children and respected elderly people. I didn’t know him to be like that.”
A status hearing date is set for the case for Sept. 23.