Potential Witness in “21st and Vietnam” Murder Trial Held for Obstruction of Justice

A woman who was subpoenaed to testify in the “21st and Vietnam” murder trial has been arrested on a charge of obstructing justice after allegedly refusing to answer questions—or to be sworn in to testify—at trial.

Amber Middleton, 22, was presented at D.C. Superior Court Thursday afternoon, where a judge found cause to hold her. She was ordered held pending a preliminary hearing on the charge.

According to charging documents, Middleton was served with a subpoena to appear in court on June 10 to testify in the trial charging Johnnie Harris and Stanley Moghalu with the death of Steven Curtis Moore. Prosecutors believe Middleton has information relating to Moore’s murder, which occurred Dec. 3, 2011, in the 1100 block of 21st Street Northeast.

Middleton did not respond to the subpoena and did not appear at court on June 10. She was arrested June 29.

Arrest documents say that on July 8 Middleton was again called to the witness stand but refused to speak. Judge Henry Greene ordered Middleton to answer questions when asked, and attempted to swear her in, but she refused to take the oath. Middleton was then found in civil contempt of court.

Later, on July 22 and 23, Middleton was again called as a government witness in the trial but again refused to take the oath.

Court documents say that on multiple occasions Middleton was asked to provide reasons for her refusal to testify, but she has not done so. When asked if she was afraid, Middleton did not respond. When told that her safety concerns, if any, would be addressed by law enforcement, Middleton repeatedly refused to specify any safety concerns, according to court documents.

Harris and Moghalu, along with Anthony Hatton and Jekwan Smith, are alleged to be members of a crew called “21st and Vietnam,” and are currently on trial in connection with the deaths of Moore, Isaiah Sheffield and Tyrell Fogle.

Prosecutors expect the trial against the men to last at least two more weeks.

Charging documents have been added to this post.

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