A caretaker discovered the bodies of Ingraham and Hurley-Brown in their apartment in the 1600 block of 17th Street, Southeast on January 30. Their 1-year-old and 2-year-old children were also in the apartment, safe and unharmed. Police estimate time of death more than 12 hours earlier, according to charging documents.
“There is a lot of information provided by a lot of witnesses, but none of it is enough,” argued Dana Page, Sweeney’s defense attorney.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Magdalena Avecedo, the crime scene’s location made that inevitable.
“Any time a murder is committed in an apartment, we do have to rely on circumstantial evidence,” AUSA Avecedo said.
Police recovered Ingraham’s car in a parking lot in the 1800 block of U Street, Southeast on February 1, documents state. Inside were a pair of latex gloves, one of which tested positive for Sweeney’s DNA.
When police arrived at the victims’ residence, a strong odor of bleach was present and the sinks were left running, charging documents say.
“The apartment was cleaned,” Avecedo said. “That’s why [the gloves] were found inside out. He had just taken them off.”
Approximately one month before the murder, the caretaker walked in to find Sweeney and Ingraham at the dining room table. Both men wore blue gloves, and Sweeney was stirring something in a bowl, documents say.
Page, the defense attorney, argued that a witness account of Sweeney wearing rubber gloves is not sufficient evidence to implicate him in the car theft or the murder of his best friend. The glove evidence is merely circumstantial, Page argued.
“There’s no question that Mr. Sweeney and Mr. Ingraham were friends and stir what they stir together,” Page said.
Judge John Ramsey Johnson ruled that the circumstantial nature of the evidence did not preclude him from finding probable cause.
“This web of circumstantial evidence more than supports probable cause that Mr. Sweeney committed the murder of two victims,” Judge Johnson told the court. “Nothing standing alone would compel that finding: it’s all of it together.”
Sweeney is scheduled for a felony status conference before Judge Johnson on February 20 at 10:00 a.m.