A DC man charged in connection with the stabbing death of 58-year-old Timothy Benjamin is seeking to withdraw his guilty plea. He says he believes he has mental health issues and was not adequately represented by his attorney.
In a letter written to, Marvin Moore, 37, expressed those concerns in a letter written to Judge Russell Canan. He also wrote that he thought he was pleading to involuntary manslaughter without a weapon. His plea is entered in court records as voluntary manslaughter.
“After consulting with a few [people], all I want is a fair trial,” Moore said in his letter.
Benjamin was found with two stab wounds on September 21, 2013.
According to charging documents, Moore and Benjamin got into an argument in an alley near the 5300 block of Georgia Avenue about which man would take a third person home. The third person told police that they decided to go home with Moore. As a result, according to that witness, Benjamin invited Moore to fight.
After the witness and Moore moved Benjamin underneath a covered entrance, the witness felt two stab wounds. While the witness applied pressure to the wounds, they looked up and observed Moore folding a black handled knife, court documents state.
Moore was charged with second-degree murder in connection with the case.
Of his plea he said in his letter to the court, “I was told that I would receive seven years.”
In court on Friday, defense attorney Brandi Harden defended her representation of Moore. The sentencing guidelines for the case recommend a sentence of six to eleven years.
Judge Canan asked Harden to speak with Moore and see if the matter can be resolved.
A new sentencing date is scheduled for January 31, pending a motion to formally withdraw the plea.