Howard Randolph Released to Halfway House

Howard Randolph was released to a halfway house Friday after Judge Russell Canan did not find substantial probability that Randolph was the person responsible for the death of Rayshawn Hailstock.

Prosecutors believe that Hailstock died from “blunt force impact to the jaw and neck” after a single punch from Randolph knocked him unconscious and he fell to the sidewalk. Randolph, 25, is suspected of involuntary manslaughter.

Hailstock was found unconscious on June 30 in the 2300 block of Alabama Avenue Southeast around 8:30 p.m.; he later died at the hospital. A statement issued by police the next day said they believe Hailstock had been in a fight.

Dr. Lois Goslinosky conducted Hailstock‚Äôs autopsy on July 1 and ruled that the death was a homicide. The cause of death was reported as blunt impact injuries of the head and neck.

Defense attorney Katerina Semyonova noted that the report did not clarify whether the “blunt force” that caused Hailstock death came from Randolph’s fist or the ground.

The medical examiner took a considerable amount of time to determine that the punch caused Hailstock’s death, not [his fall],” Assistant US Attorney Adrienne Dedjinou explained.

In an oral proffer from the government, Dedjinou further told the court that Hailstock was part of a “big neighborhood brawl” one week earlier that arose because Hailstock punched his girlfriend. Randolph also dated the same woman during 2010 and was upset that Hailstock was in his neighborhood, Dedjinou said. On June 30, Randolph approached his ex-girlfriend in her apartment to tell her that Hailstock was not welcome in the area.

Afterwards, Randolph saw Hailstock at a nearby bus stop and walked up to him, Dedjinou told the court. The men squared up, and Randolph threw one punch—which knocked out Hailstock—and walked away, Dedjinou said.

In court on Friday, Semyonova said that Randolph believes that Hailstock “swung on him first and missed”.

Dedjinou argued that Randolph had to cross the street towards the bus stop to even be in the same area as Hailstock. Semyonova countered that Randolph crossed the street to get back to his family’s house.

In making his ruling, Judge Canan said that he couldn’t “find that there are no conditions that would ensure the safety of the community.”

A status hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on February 17.

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