Herbert Hayes was ordered held today at his preliminary hearing for the stabbing death of John Wesley Griffin after Judge Ann O’Regan Keary found substantial probability that Hayes committed the crime of second-degree murder while armed.
Keary’s finding came as a result of a phone call Hayes made to a friend while in custody and because a witness in the case had identified Hayes as the killer by name and appearance.
Prosecutor Melinda Williams argued that the phone call was a confession of guilt.
Metropolitan Police Department Detective Wayne Partman said that on the call Hayes said he was worried about how much prison time the second-degree murder charge carried.
According to charging documents, on the night of the incident Hayes was seen chasing Griffin on North Capital St. in Northwest D.C. The witness told police they then saw Hayes punch Griffin, who fell to the ground. Once Griffin fell, the witness saw that Hayes had a knife in his hand. The witness heard Hayes say “fuck the police,” then run away, according to charging documents.
Griffin was stabbed seven times.
Hayes’ attorney said that the punching motion described by the witness could have been just that- punching- and that Griffin could have already been suffering the stab wounds when Hayes was observed near him.
Hayes will return to court for a felony status conference on August 17.