The decision to hold the 25-year-old woman was met with anger and disbelief by more than a dozen family members who attended the hearing hoping for her release.
“Hang in there Dominique!” one woman shouted as the group ran screaming and sobbing from the courtroom following Howze’s finding.
Charging documents in the case allege that Bassil, suspected of second-degree murder, stabbed Harris during an argument. Neither Bassil nor Vance appear to have a record of domestic violence in D.C.
According to charging documents, Bassil agreed to be interviewed on tape by homicide detectives. In the interview she
stated that the victim, Harris, was verbally abusive and began to slap her when she picked up a shoe and began striking the defendant. [Bassil] could have walked out of the apartment and called for help. Instead, [Bassil] stated that she ran out of the bedroom into the kitchen and picked up a twelve inch stainless steel knife off of the kitchen counter and began stabbing the victim, Harris. [Bassil] then ran out the apartment where she was caught on video throwing the knife in the trash can before going to the apartment security booth. [Bassil] said that she dropped the knife as she was running from the apartment. A bloody knife was recovered on the floor next to the victim, Harris, and another bloody knife was recovered in the trash can by the security booth where the defendant was observed throwing it away.
The documents are not clear about who was being struck with a shoe during the argument.
Defense attorney Elizabeth Mullins had asked that the court not find probable cause in the case. She argued that even within the brevity of the charging documents there was evidence that Bassil could have been acting in self defense.
When prosecutor Charles Cobb countered that detectives, as relayed in the charging documents, had found that Bassil had had an opportunity to flee the argument but instead chose to stab Harris, Mullins argued that that may not have been the case.
“That’s the detectives interpretation,” she said.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled to be held in the case this Thursday. Judge Gerald Fisher is expected to hear the case sometime after 9:30 a.m.
Charging documents are below.