Charlottesville Court Hears Motion in Washington Capital Murder Case

Posted: Updated: Aug 16, 2016 04:28 PM
Gene Everett Washington being escorted from Charlottesville Circuit Court Gene Everett Washington being escorted from Charlottesville Circuit Court
Gene Everett Washington Gene Everett Washington
File Images: Robin and Mani Alridge File Images: Robin and Mani Alridge

Attorneys for a man accused of a brutal double murder in Charlottesville will gain access to information about the grand jury that indicted him.

Thirty-one-year-old Gene Everett Washington was back in Charlottesville Circuit Court Tuesday, August 16, for a motions hearing.

Washington is accused of killing 58-year-old Robin Aldridge and her 17-year-old daughter Mani back on December 5, 2014.

Investigators say Washington beat the two women to death before setting their Rugby Avenue home on fire and taking off with some of Robin's property. An indictment says Washington stole two iPhones, a television, and a 2003 Toyota Matrix.

Washington is charged with one count of capital murder in the commission of a robbery, two counts of first-degree murder, and one charge of robbing a residence. He could face the death penalty if he’s found guilty on the capital murder charge.

Tuesday, capital defenders argued for access to information that they believe can help determine whether the grand jury process violated any of Washington’s constitutional rights.

“There have been other jurisdictions where the grand jury process has been hugely defective. I certainly can't say that's the case here in Charlottesville, but because we have constitutional requirements in trying to defend our clients, we need to make sure every rock is overturned and every possible avenue is looked at,” said capital defender Jennifer Stanton.

They wanted 4 years’ worth of information about Charlottesville grand jurors to determine any potential discrimination.

The judge ruled to only provide information about the randomly-selected grand jury that indicted Washington in June of 2015. Only Washington's defense attorneys will be allowed access to that information about the five-to-seven grand jurors. They are not allowed to contact those jurors, though.

The jury trial is scheduled for May 30, 2017, and is expected to last approximately three weeks.

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