James Anthony Speaks | Homicide Watch DChttp://homicidewatch.org/suspects/james-anthony-speaks/Latest news about James Anthony Speaksen-usWed, 17 Oct 2012 15:12:17 -0400First-Degree Murder Charge Against James Speaks Dismissedhttp://homicidewatch.org/2012/10/17/first-degree-murder-charge-against-james-speaks-dismissed/<p>The U.S. Attorney's Office has dropped a first-degree murder charge against <a href="http://homicidewatch.org/suspects/james-anthony-speaks/" >James Anthony Speaks</a>, who had been indicted in the April 6, 2011 murder of <a href="http://homicidewatch.org/victims/shonell-corriea/" >Shonell "Chris" Corriea</a>.</p> <p>Speaks' attorney said Wednesday that evidence had shown Speaks to be innocent. </p> <p>Speaks was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder on April 12, 2011, and was detained for nearly seven months before being indicted in the case in November 2011. He was charged with first-degree murder and two weapons offenses.<br /> <span id="more-10501"></span><br /> "Our position is that he was innocent and that he never should have been arrested in the first place," Speaks' defense attorney, Renee Raymond, said Wednesday. "This is one of those rare homicides when there was both evidence of alibi in the form of witnesses and evidence of an alibi with regard to cell phone records, and evidence of extreme motive by someone else."</p> <p>"From the outset they were wrong," she said of the U.S. Attorney's Office.</p> <p><a href="http://homicidewatch.org/2011/04/22/james-speaks-held-in-death-of-shonell-corriea-while-defense-points-to-kevin-washington/" >At a probable cause hearing</a> two weeks after the murder, Raymond argued that <a href="http://homicidewatch.org/victims/kevin-andre-washington/" >Kevin Washington</a>, who was killed just four days after Corriea, was responsible for killing Corriea, and not her client.</p> <p>Raymond said then that Washington had a motive to kill Corriea, although she didn't say what that motive was, and that rumors on the street were that Washington's killing was in retaliation for Corriea's.</p> <p>Detective Sgt. John Johnson testified that there were rumors that Washington's killing was a retaliatory murder, but he discounted Raymond's argument, saying that the description of Corriea's killer didn't match Washington.</p> <p>Speaks’ case file is dominated by a prolonged back-and-forth between prosecutors and Raymond over Speaks’ detention. After twice denying a motion from Speaks’ attorney to release him, the Court ordered him released into the High Intensity Supervision Program on Feb. 16, 2012.</p> <p>According to court documents from June, Speaks violated the terms of his release by failing to stay away from the area of the crime. But on June 22, the Court allowed Speaks to remain in the pre-trial release program.</p> <p>In August, the Pretrial Services Agency informed the Court that Speaks had violated his release terms again by failing to charge his GPS tracker, testing positive for opiates, and failing to report to regular drug testing.</p> <p>Speaks' release violations were supposed to be discussed at a hearing on Aug. 31. At that hearing Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gorman asked the Court to dismiss the case and release Speaks. </p> <p>"To the government’s credit, after they came to more exculpatory information in regard to his release, Mr. Gorman really was proactive in asking that Mr. Speaks be released from detention while they were doing further investigation," Raymond said. "I’m really incredibly happy that the government made the correct decision and decided initially to release him from detention and then ultimately to dismiss the case. I just wish they could have gotten there sooner."</p> <p>William Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, said that the investigation into Corriea's death is continuing. He declined to comment further on the case.</p> <p><strong>Note: Due to staffing, Homicide Watch DC did not publish between mid-August and mid-October. This is among the cases we are going back to cover and we apologize for the delay in publishing.</strong></p> Jonah NewmanWed, 17 Oct 2012 15:12:17 -0400http://homicidewatch.org/2012/10/17/first-degree-murder-charge-against-james-speaks-dismissed/Shonell Christopher CorrieaJames Anthony Speaks"Not Guilty" Plea to First Degree Murder Charge in Shooting Death of Shonell Chris Corrieahttp://homicidewatch.org/2011/12/05/not-guilty-plea-to-first-degree-murder-charge-in-shooting-death-of-shonell-chris-corriea/<p><a href="http://homicidewatch.org/suspects/james-anthony-speaks/" >James Speaks</a> pleaded innocent today to a charge of first-degree murder while armed in connection with the shooting death of <a href="http://homicidewatch.org/victims/shonell-corriea/" >Shonell Chris Corriea</a>.</p> <p>Speaks was arrested April 12 on suspicion of second-degree murder. Prosecutors allege that Corriea was killed in a Petworth alley on April 6 after telling his mother he was going outside to take out the trash. Corriea had been checking caller ID numbers on his phone immediately before going outside, prosecutors said.<br /> <span id="more-6649"></span><br /> Speaks was identified by the single eyewitness to the shooting, but his defense attorney, Renee Raymond, has argued that he didn't kill Corriea. </p> <p>At a preliminary hearing Raymond relied on rumors reported to come from the street, suggesting that not her client, but a man now dead, <a href="http://homicidewatch.org/victims/kevin-andre-washington/" >Kevin Washington</a>, was responsible for Corriea’s killing.</p> <p>“There was a very general description given that night that would certainly match Kevin ‘JR’ Washington,” Raymond said, later adding, “We’ve got some pretty good evidence for a motive and a name for someone else to do it.”</p> <p>The indictment handed up Monday charges Speaks with first-degree murder while armed as well as two weapons charges. He pleaded innocent to each of the charges. </p> <p>A status hearing has been set for Jan. 6.</p> <p><script src="http://s3.documentcloud.org/viewer/loader.js"></script><br /> <script> DV.load('http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/271165-scn-0037.js', { width: 450, height: 600, sidebar: false, container: "#DV-viewer-271165-scn-0037" }); </script></p> Laura AmicoMon, 05 Dec 2011 13:37:53 -0500http://homicidewatch.org/2011/12/05/not-guilty-plea-to-first-degree-murder-charge-in-shooting-death-of-shonell-chris-corriea/Shonell Christopher CorrieaJames Anthony SpeaksJames Speaks Held in Death of Shonell Corriea while Defense Points to Kevin Washingtonhttp://homicidewatch.org/2011/04/22/james-speaks-held-in-death-of-shonell-corriea-while-defense-points-to-kevin-washington/<p>At times today in Judge Gerald Fisher's courtroom, it seemed like <a href="http://homicidewatch.org/category/suspects/james-anthony-speaks/">James Speaks</a>, the man sitting at the defense desk in an orange jumpsuit, was not in fact the man under suspicion.</p> <p>Speaks was arrested April 12 on suspicion of second-degree murder in the shooting death of <a href="http://homicidewatch.org/category/victims/shonell-corriea/">Shonell "Chris" Corriea</a> in a Petworth ally the night of April 6.</p> <p>Relying on rumors reported to come from the street, defense attorney Renee Raymond suggested to the court that not her client, but a dead man, <a href="http://homicidewatch.org/category/victims/kevin-andre-washington/">Kevin Washington</a>, was responsible for Corriea's killing.<br /> <span id="more-3332"></span><br /> "There was a very general description given that night that would certainly match Kevin 'JR' Washington," Raymond said, later adding, "We've got some pretty good evidence for a motive and a name for someone else to do it."</p> <p>Raymond did not say what Washington's motive to kill Corriea might have been. But she said Speaks didn't have any motive to kill Corriea and that he was a close friend of Corriea's family. So close, in fact, that the night Corriea was killed, his brother stayed the night with Speaks' family.</p> <p>Detective Sgt. John Johnson testified at Speaks' preliminary hearing Friday, but discounted Raymond's assertions, saying that Washington did not match the description of the shooter in appearance because he wore plaits in his hair.</p> <p>Johnson based his assessment of Washington's appearance on a photo of Washington in MPD's system. He conceded that apart from hairstyle Washington could have fit the description of the shooter.</p> <p>That description, built from several 911 calls and an eye-witness to the shooting, was of a black male approximately 5'6 or 5'7.</p> <p>Johnson testified, "Beat officers said the rumor was Kevin Washington had something to do with Shonell Corriea's homicide and that it (Washington's death) was in retaliation."</p> <p>Washington, 20, was killed April 10, four days after Corriea was killed and about a quarter mile from Corriea's home.</p> <p>"Kevin Washington did not have anything to do with Shonell Corriea," Johnson added. "No one has come forward to identify Kevin Washington as the shooter. [Kevin Washington's death] is still under investigation."</p> <p>Raymond's arguments did not cast enough doubt on Speaks' guilt, though, and Fisher found "substantial probability" that Speaks did in fact fatally shoot Corriea.</p> <p>Fisher said the testimony that an eye witness to the shooting identified Speaks by name and then picked him out of a photo line-up created "at this point, a fairly strong ID."</p> <p>"I don't have anything that assails probable cause," the judge said.</p> <p>Fisher ordered Speaks held until his next court appearance, a status hearing on July 8.</p> Laura AmicoFri, 22 Apr 2011 20:19:44 -0400http://homicidewatch.org/2011/04/22/james-speaks-held-in-death-of-shonell-corriea-while-defense-points-to-kevin-washington/Shonell Christopher CorrieaKevin Andre WashingtonJames Anthony SpeaksCharging Documents in Shooting Death of Shonell &quot;Chris&quot; Corrieahttp://homicidewatch.org/2011/04/14/charging-documents-in-shooting-death-of-shonell-chris-corriea/<p>Last Wednesday night, <a href="http://homicidewatch.org/category/victims/shonell-corriea/">Shonell "Chris" Correia</a> was sitting on the couch in his living room talking with his mother and checking the caller ID numbers on the house phone. Twenty minutes later he was dead.</p> <p>According to details in the criminal complaint against<a href="http://homicidewatch.org/category/suspects/james-anthony-speaks/"> James Speaks</a>, accused of second-degree murder in Correia's death, after checking the caller ID the night of April 6, Corriea,</p> <blockquote><p>walked into the kitchen and told his mother that he was going to take the trash out. [He] left the kitchen door open and went out into the backyard. After a few minutes [his] mother heard two gunshots. [Corriea] was found in the backyard unconscious suffering from gunshot wounds.</p></blockquote> <p>Speaks was identified by the sole witness to the homicide as the shooter. The witness told police that Corriea and a man known as "Rico" were having a verbal argument when Speaks pulled out a silver or gray handgun and shot Corriea, the witness said.</p> <p>Speaks, 22, is employed, makes $600 a month and is the father of two children, according to paperwork determining his eligibility for public defender services.</p> <p>Charging documents are after the jump.<br /> <span id="more-3197"></span></p> <p><script src="http://s3.documentcloud.org/viewer/loader.js"></script><br /> <script> DV.load('http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/85366-speaks-james.js', { width: 450, height: 600, sidebar: false, page: 1, container: "#DV-viewer-85366-speaks-james" }); </script></p> <p><script src="http://s3.documentcloud.org/viewer/loader.js"></script><br /> <script> DV.load('http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/85367-speaks-cja-elig.js', { width: 450, height: 600, sidebar: false, page: 1, container: "#DV-viewer-85367-speaks-cja-elig" }); </script></p> Laura AmicoThu, 14 Apr 2011 13:24:27 -0400http://homicidewatch.org/2011/04/14/charging-documents-in-shooting-death-of-shonell-chris-corriea/Shonell Christopher CorrieaJames Anthony SpeaksJames Speaks held in death of Shonell &quot;Chris&quot; Corrieahttp://homicidewatch.org/2011/04/13/james-speaks-held-in-death-of-shonell-chris-corriea/<p><a href="http://homicidewatch.org/category/suspects/james-anthony-speaks/">James Speaks</a> appeared in court late this afternoon on suspicion of second-degree murder while armed in the shooting death of <a href="http://homicidewatch.org/category/victims/shonell-corriea/">Shonell "Chris" Corriea</a> on April 6.</p> <p>Speaks was presented with the charge and a preliminary hearing was set for Friday April 22.</p> <p>Shackled and wearing a white jumpsuit, Speaks hung his head through the brief proceedings Wednesday. His court-appointed attorney, Rene Raymond, argued that the case against Speaks, which relies on one witness, was weak and undeveloped.<br /> <span id="more-3187"></span><br /> "Curiously, if what happened is what's represented in the affidavit, it doesn't make sense to be charged as murder two," she said. "It would be charged as murder one."</p> <p>Judge Karen Howze, however, based on the affidavit and Speak's criminal record (he was found guilty of reckless driving, evading law enforcement and destruction of property in 2007 and possession of cocaine in 2009), found "substantial probability" in the case and set the date for a preliminary hearing.</p> <p><em>A copy of the affidavit was not available this afternoon. We'll post it when we get it.</em></p> Laura AmicoWed, 13 Apr 2011 18:41:20 -0400http://homicidewatch.org/2011/04/13/james-speaks-held-in-death-of-shonell-chris-corriea/Shonell Christopher CorrieaJames Anthony SpeaksJames Speaks Arrested on Suspicion of Murdering Shonell Corrieahttp://homicidewatch.org/2011/04/13/james-speaks-arrested-on-suspicion-of-murdering-shonell-corriea/<p>James Anthony Speaks, a 22-year-old Northwest D.C. man, has been arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder in the shooting death of <a href="http://homicidewatch.org/category/victims/shonell-corriea/">Shonell Correia</a> on Quincy Street NW last week.</p> <p>MPD's press release follows:<br /> <span id="more-3175"></span></p> <blockquote><p>Arrest Made in the Homicide in the 700 Block of Quincy Street, NW</p> <p>(Washington, DC) —Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch have announced an arrest in the homicide of 22-year-old, Shonell Corriea of the 700 block of Quincy Street N.W.</p> <p>On Wednesday, April 6, 2011, at approximately 9:40 pm, members of the Fourth District responded to the report of a shooting in the rear of a residence in the 700 block of Quincy Street N.W. Upon arrival on the scene, they found a male victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Personnel from DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene and transported the victim to a local hospital where he was subsequently pronounced dead.</p> <p>On Tuesday, April 12, 2011, at approximately 6:15 pm, 22-year-old James Anthony Speaks of Northwest, Washington, DC, was arrested by members of the Intelligence Unit pursuant to an arrest warrant charging him with Murder Two while Armed.</p></blockquote> Laura AmicoWed, 13 Apr 2011 07:31:32 -0400http://homicidewatch.org/2011/04/13/james-speaks-arrested-on-suspicion-of-murdering-shonell-corriea/Shonell Christopher CorrieaJames Anthony Speaks