Judge denies release of man charged in 6-year-old Nyiah Courtney’s death


WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Marktwan Hargraves was denied release from custody by a D.C. Superior Court judge during his first appearance in court on a murder charge.

Hargraves, of Waldorf, Maryland, was arrested in Southeast D.C. on Wednesday, July 28. He is suspected of shooting and killing 6-year-old Nyiah Courtney on July 17 at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X Avenues.

D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee announced the arrest during a Wednesday press conference. “We’ve got our man,” he said. At that time, Chief Contee said Hargraves faced a charge of first-degree murder while armed.

During court proceedings, Hargraves was read a charge of second-degree murder while armed. Hargraves attorney argued that there is no evidence identifying Hargraves in the vehicle (that the shots were fired from) at the time of the shooting on July 17.

Government representation listed evidence such as text messages with photos of the same type of gun used in the shooting. The judge said there is certainly probably cause in the case, but that it did not need to be addressed at the time of the arraignment.

Proceedings also made clear that Hargraves was out on a bond from a June 2020 armed carjacking incident in Prince George’s County. According to Prince George’s records, Hargraves paid a $30,000 bond on two felony charges and one misdemeanor charge and was awaiting his next court date.

Due to the violent, serious nature of the charges that Hargraves was out on bond for, and the violent, serious nature of his charges in the District, the judge said she could not provide any conditions of release that would ensure public safety.

Hargraves will be back in court on August 18.

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