Judge Finds Substantial Probability in Case Against Cedric Spicer

Judge Herbert Dixon found substantial probability Thursday that Cedric Spicer shot and killed Joseph Hardin last month outside a nightclub in Northwest D.C. Spicer remains held while a grand jury investigates the case.

“Based on the devastating combination of direct and circumstantial evidence, there’s not only probable cause, but substantial probability that Mr. Spicer committed these offenses,” Dixon told the court in his finding.

According to charging documents, Spicer and Hardin argued inside the nightclub. Spicer was then escorted out by employees and Hardin left the establishment shortly later, the documents say.

Metropolitan Police Detective Robert Cephas testified Thursday that witnesses recounted two simultaneous arguments inside the nightclub on the morning of Feb. 23. One argument was between a group of women, some of whom were with Hardin. The second argument was between Spicer and Hardin, Cephas said.

Witnesses told police that once outside, the women kept arguing, but Hardin started arguing with three unknown men.

While they were arguing, a man in a black mask and gray T-shirt approached within arms length of Hardin and fired two shots, Cephas testified.

One witness told police that the shooter fired several shots at the women as they were running away, and then walked back to Hardin’s body lying in the street and fired several more times.

Hardin died at the scene; several .40 caliber shell casings were found near his body.

Arrest documents say that a witness who watched the entire shooting followed the suspect as he fled the scene and ran toward T Street Northwest.

The witness said that he briefly lost sight of the shooter, but when the witness reached T Street he saw police arresting the man.

The witness then identified the suspect being arrested as the shooter.

Cephas testified Thursday that officers who were in the vicinity of the 1900 block of 9th Street Northwest responded to a radio report of shots fired when they saw Spicer fleeing the area wearing a gray shirt and ski mask.

The officers pursued Spicer until he slipped and fell in the 800 block of T Street, less than two blocks from the shooting, and never lost sight of him during the chase, Cephas said.

“It was a very brief foot chase, less than a minute,” Cephas said.

Officers saw Spicer throw an object on the ground as he ran from them. When they returned later, they found a Smith and Wesson .40 caliber handgun in a planter box. The gun had one round in the chamber and one in the magazine, according to charging documents.

Spicer’s defense attorney, Liyah Brown, argued Thursday that Spicer heard gunshots outside the club, so he ran away.

Judge Dixon scheduled a felony status conference for June 14.

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