Judge Lynn Leibovitz ruled Friday that there is substantial probability that William Faison committed first-degree murder when Jeffrey Covington was shot during a robbery attempt on a craps game. In making the ruling, she rejected defense claims that Faison was not the person responsible for the shooting and that, if he were, it would have been in self-defense.
Leibovitz ordered Faison held on the charge at least until a status hearing in the case on Dec. 15.
In court Friday, Homicide Detective Robert Arrington testified that Faison had been identified by witnesses as being present outside of building 605 at 46th Place, SE on July 2, and also on the surveillance footage obtained from the building.
He also said that Faison was later found in an apartment in building 605. In that same apartment, the .38 caliber revolver used to shoot Covington was found underneath the refrigerator.
Quillan questioned the validity of the identifications made by witnesses, based partly on the testimony given by one witness, who had identified the shooter as Maurice Roots, a man who was incarcerated the day of the shooting.
Arrington said that the same witness told police officers that Faison had identified himself to her as Roots.
Quillan also argued that one of the witnesses had a face-to-face view of the shooter but did not identify him as Faison. Arrington then told the court that this witness had said he had seen the shooter, but refused to identify anyone and was “uncooperative.”
Quillan also raised the possibility that Covington was shot in self-defense. In video-footage of the crime, Covington could be seen aiming a 9mm pistol at his killer, who fired just one shot in self-defense. The gun that Covington was holding was later found to be inoperable but Quillan said that there was no way for the shooter to know this.
Judge Leibovitz ruled against a self-defense claim in the case, saying that because the shooting happened during a robbery of a craps game, and because she had heard evidence that Faison was the robber, that he could not make a claim to self-defense.
Charging documents in the case are here.
This post is by Evan Conway, a freelancer for Homicide Watch D.C. Evan originally hails from Galway on the west coast of Ireland. He now lives in Washington DC. He most recently worked as a Broadcast Desk Assistant at the PBS NewsHour. Evan has always seen journalism as a way of insuring accountability for everyone. He’s on Twitter @evanconway88.