Delay Possible for Trial in 2013 Aspen Hill Homicide
Substantial state evidence, late attorney notice could push back proceedings
A status hearing in the 2013 Aspen Hill homicide case was postponed on Friday.
Three men set to stand trial for a 2013 Aspen Hill homicide may have to wait a bit longer for their day in court after a status hearing was postponed on Friday.
Trevon Derick Davis, 28, of Hyattsville, and Bryan Donte Byrd, 28, of Washington, D.C., were arrested in March and charged for a slaying that occurred during a botched home-invasion robbery, police said.
Police also charged Vaughn Darvel Bellamy, 28, of Hagerstown, with first-degree murder, armed robbery and first-degree burglary in the case.
Defense attorneys and prosecutors were supposed to discuss discovery of information and trial scheduling at a hearing on Friday for all three defendants, but the proceedings were postponed to Aug. 2.
Montgomery County Assistant State’s Attorney John Lalos said it took the public defender’s office “an unusual amount of time” to process the cases, with defense teams only recently coming on board for Byrd and Bellamy. The case had already been continued from June due the lack of attorney representation.
Lalos added that the state has provided the defense attorneys with a voluminous amount of discovery information so far, likely to take the teams awhile to go through. Both sides agreed to return in a few weeks to iron out a schedule.
“At the very least we’d be able to determine what the situation is,” said Mirriam Siddiq, who began representing Bellamy earlier this week, referring to the scheduling of future proceedings.
Circuit Court Judge James Bonifant reminded the parties that the try-by date for the case is Oct. 22. State law requires that a defendant be tried within 180 days of his/her initial appearance before the court, unless good cause is shown for delaying the proceedings.
“We’re not in any position right now where we think we’ll need to postpone trial dates,” Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office deputy chief Mary Herdman said.
Police believe the shooting death of 34-year-old Alexander Benson Buie was the result of mistaken identity, as Byrd and Bellamy had intended to rob another man who had previously lived in the home where the incident occurred. Buie fit the description of the planned target and was occupying his former bedroom. He was shot multiple times in a struggle.
Ballistics evidence from a separate homicide involving Bellamy matched the weapon in the Aspen Hill case, leading to the arrests, police said.
Byrd is out on $150,000 bond. Davis and Bellamy are currently being held without bond.
Charlie Wright can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org