Job Opportunities

Felony I Trial Attorney

Vacancy Announcement:
PDS-2022-21
Pay Series:
PDS 12/13/14 (GS equivalent 12/13/14)
Salary Range: $89,834 - $130,441*
Opening Date:
Jul 26, 2022
Closing Date:
Aug 12, 2022
Number of Vacancies:
4
Location:
Public Defender Service
  for the District of Columbia
633 Indiana Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004
Organization Description:
The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS) is a federally funded, independent organization; governed by an eleven-member Board of Trustees, PDS provides legal representation to individuals facing a loss of freedom in criminal, delinquency, and mental health matters in the District of Columbia. PDS’s approximately 200 attorneys, social workers, investigators, and administrative and technical staff collaborate with each other to advance the PDS mission. PDS’s main office is located at 633 Indiana Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. District of Columbia residency is not a requirement for employment. PDS is funded by federal appropriations, and all employees are entitled to participate in the federal health and life insurance plans, the federal retirement plans, and the Thrift Savings Plan. Transferring employees will receive recognition of creditable federal service for leave accrual and retirement purposes. Employment at the Public Defender Service is neither federal nor District of Columbia government employment, and all employees are at-will.

Division Background:

Attorneys in the Trial Division zealously represent adults in criminal proceedings and children in delinquency matters in the District of Columbia. Attorneys are assigned to specific types of cases based on experience and performance. As a result of intensive supervision and ongoing training, attorneys generally progress over the course of several years from litigating juvenile delinquency matters to litigating the most serious adult offenses. Less senior Trial Division staff attorneys handle the most difficult or resource-intensive delinquency cases (i.e., those with serious charges or children with serious mental illnesses or learning disabilities) and handle some general felony cases and a limited number of misdemeanor cases. Trial Division staff attorneys also provide representation in a wide range of other legal matters through PDS’s Duty Day Program and the Superior Court’s Drug Court Program.
Essential Duties:
Felony I Trial Division attorneys, the most seasoned attorneys in the Trial Division, handle complex and resource-intensive adult cases. Felony I attorneys routinely handle murder and first-degree sexual assault cases involving DNA evidence, expert testimony, multiple-count indictments, and novel or complex legal matters. This group of highly trained litigators provides representation in the majority of the most serious adult felony cases filed in the Superior Court each year. PDS Trial Division attorneys are responsible for providing outstanding oral and written advocacy in their individual cases and for working effectively with investigators, forensic social workers, and other specialists as needed to achieve each client’s desired outcome. Trial Division attorneys are also expected to be available to their colleagues to assist and to work collaboratively to produce the best outcome for PDS Trial Division clients.
Required Qualifications:
J.D. or equivalent degree from an accredited law school by June 2019; excellent research, writing, and oral persuasion skills; completion of at least three homicide or sex trials that were equivalent in seriousness to murder or first-degree sex abuse as proscribed in the D.C. Code; and either (1) membership in the District of Columbia Bar; (2) membership in good standing in another bar for at least three (3) years by the time you would start at PDS; or (3) a passing score on the Uniform Bar Examination. Bar membership should be specifically addressed in the cover letter.
How To Apply:

Applicants must submit**: (1) a cover letter addressing why you are/want to be a public defender and why you would like to join our office; (2) a resume; (3) a list of three references (name, e-mail address, telephone number, and a brief statement of how each reference is able to evaluate your skills); and (4) the Felony I Trial Attorney Questionnaire. All materials must be submitted online as a consolidated PDF through the "Apply To This Job" button.

*The maximum starting salary for this position, previously advertised as PDS-2022-19, has increased to $130,441.
**Finalists will be required to submit an official law school transcript or certification of law school graduation prior to receiving an offer of employment.

Expected Timeline: PDS will conduct interviews in August for positions that will begin as soon as possible, but no later than November 7, 2022.


FELONY I TRIAL ATTTORNEY QUESTIONNAIRE

TRIAL HISTORY

1. Trial Information: Please list the three (3) most recent trials in which (a) you were lead defense counsel on the case and (b) the case was either a homicide or sexual abuse case that was the equivalent in seriousness to murder or first-degree sex abuse as proscribed in the D.C. Code. Include the following information about the three trials: the case name; the case number; the court in which the case was tried; the presiding judge; the trial prosecutors; the lead charge; the trial dates; and a brief description of the issues involved in the trial. Also, provide an estimate of the total number of trials that you have tried as lead defense counsel. Please state how many of those were jury trials. If the case was not tried in D.C. Superior Court, please provide the statutory citation for the lead charge.

2. Preliminary Hearings: Please list your five most recent preliminary hearings. Include the following information about the hearings: the case name; the case number; the court in which the hearing was held; the presiding judge; the prosecutor; the charge; and the hearing date.

3. Evidentiary Hearings: Please list three significant non-trial evidentiary hearings that you have conducted as lead defense counsel. Please include the following information for each hearing: the case name; the case number; the court in which the evidentiary hearing was held; the presiding judge; the prosecutor; the lead charge; the hearing dates; and a brief description of the issues involved in the evidentiary hearing. If the case was not brought in D.C. Superior Court, please provide the statutory citation for the lead charge.

4. Expert Witnesses: Describe your experience using expert witnesses when an expert you retained testified on your client’s behalf and for any case when you cross-examined a government expert with the guidance of an expert that you had retained. As part of your description, please list no more than three cases, including the case name, case number, and the lead charge. If the case was not tried in D.C. Superior Court, please provide the statutory citation for the lead charge.

5. Sentencing Materials: Please submit a sentencing memorandum, including any attachments, that you believe best demonstrate your mitigation advocacy, as well as your written and analytical skills. If possible, please submit sentencing materials from a homicide or first-degree sexual abuse case.

RACIAL JUSTICE

The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia acknowledges the racist infrastructure of the U.S. criminal legal system and works affirmatively to diminish the legal impact of those mechanisms that encourage the continued oppression of people of color.

1. Racial Equity: Describe your vision of racial equity in the criminal legal system.

2. Race Litigation: If you have litigated race in any capacity in a criminal case, please submit that pleading and a brief description detailing the strategy behind your race litigation.

OTHER EXPERIENCE

Please describe any other relevant experience that you wish to have considered as part of your candidacy, including but not limited to other trials, significant evidentiary hearings, appeals, or systemic issues on which you have worked.

Investigative Memorandum

Please review the following arrest warrant affidavit and submit an investigative memorandum. The investigative memorandum should outline all investigative tasks and instructions you would provide to your investigator.

UNITED STATES v. JAMESON KINGSBURY

The undersigned officer states that:

REPORT:
On Monday, December 30, 2019 at approximately 11:40pm, members of the Seventh District received a radio run for a shooting in the 1200 block of Davidson Ave N.E. Once on scene, officers observed the decedent lying face down in front of 1242 Davidson Ave N.E. The decedent was identified as Mr. Innis B. Stander. The decedent was unconscious and not breathing. DCFEMS Ambulance 14 responded to the scene and transported the decedent to Howard University Hospital where lifesaving attempts were unsuccessful. The decedent was found to be suffering from a two gunshot wounds to the head. The decedent was pronounced dead at 12:28am.

AUTOPSY:
On Tuesday, December 31, 2019, Dr. Teddy Riley of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner performed a post mortem examination on the remains of the decedent. The decedent sustained two gunshot wounds: one gunshot wound to the right ear that exited the left forehead and one gunshot wound to the right cheek that exited the left forehead. Dr. Riley ruled that the cause of death was the gunshot wounds and that the manner of death was homicide.

SCENE:
A canvass of the scene revealed five .40 caliber cartridge casings in front of 1238 Davidson Ave N.E. Further to the north, on the same side of the street but in a separate area, were three 9mm cartridge casings. Ballistics analysis determined that the two sets of casings were fired from different guns.

INVESTIGATION:
During the canvass, officers located video in the 1200 block of Davidson Ave N.E. The video shows a group of males hanging out with the decedent. All at once the group appears to react to something to the south. A black male with dreadlocks wearing a jean jacket and black pants produced a black handgun and began to fire it southbound on Davidson Ave. On the video, this individual appears to be returning fire, and he was later identified as defendant Andrew Smalls as described below. On the surveillance video, it appears that while Smalls is firing, the decedent runs in front of the gun and is shot. The decedent stumbles to the ground, and then gets up. The decedent runs across the street and falls again. The location of the recovered shell casings is consistent with there being a second shooter located further southbound on Davidson Ave than the male in the jean jacket. Based on the surveillance video, as well as the autopsy findings indicating the path of the fatal gunshot wound, it appears that the bullet that struck the decedent came from the direction of the individual in the jean jacket.

While on the scene, detectives met with and interviewed Witness #1. During the course of the investigation, Witness #1 told detectives that on the night of the homicide Witness #2 and an individual Witness #1 knows as “Drew” had a conversation with IT. Witness #1 later identified “Drew” as defendant Andrew Smalls. According to Witness #1, “Drew” told IT that someone ran down masked up and started shooting. “Drew” told Witness #1 that he pushed Witness #2 towards the ground and that he - “Drew” - was the one who shot back. Witness #1 stated that IT has known “Drew” for several months. According to Witness #1, Witness #2 told IT during this conversation that Witness #2 knew that the masked up individual was “Chief”.

During the investigation, detectives conducted an interview with Witness #4. During the interview, which was video-recorded, Witness #4 told detectives that IT sold drugs with the decedent. At the time of this interview, Witness #4 was under arrest for a felony offense. In the days after the shooting, Witness #4 stated that IT overheard “Chief” say that he was shooting at an individual in the 1200 block of Davidson Ave when the decedent was killed. Witness #4 stated that IT heard “Chief” say that he observed his intended target standing in 1200 block of Davidson Ave N.E. when he had a friend drop him off in the area and he shot at the intended target. Witness #4 stated that “Chief” always carried a semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine.

Based on a review of MPD intelligence information, your affiant is aware that an individual going by the nickname of “Chief” is affiliated with the Brownsville Heights neighborhood, which is close to the 1200 block of Davidson Ave. That individual is Jameson Kingsbury. On February 10, 2020, your affiant showed Witness #4 a confirmation photograph of Jameson Kingsbury, and Witness #4 positively identified Jameson Kingsbury as “Chief”.

It should be noted that on February 17, 2020, Jameson Kingsbury was arrested and charged with carrying a pistol without a license. The pistol he is charged with carrying is a .40 caliber semi-automatic firearm with an extended magazine.

Your affiant has been advised by the United States Attorney’s Office that an attorney for Witness #4 contacted the office and stated that Witness #4 wishes to recant the statement, claiming instead that IT heard the information through the neighborhood, rather than directly from “Chief”.

Detectives also interviewed Witness #5, who was shown still photos taken from the surveillance video described above. Witness #5 did not claim to be present on the scene at the time of the shooting, but was viewing still shots in an attempt to assist detectives in identifying individuals present at the scene. Witness #5 initially told detectives that the individual in the jean jacket was Witness #4. In a subsequent interview, Witness#5 advised that IT had been mistaken, and that the person in the jean jacket was not Witness #4.

Witness #2 was interviewed during the course of this investigation. During the initial interview, Witness #2 stated that IT was present in the 1200 block of Davidson Ave N.E. on December 30, 2019, when IT saw an individual in all black, wearing a mask and holding a gun approaching the area IT was standing it. Witness #2 did not tell detectives that IT knew who this individual was in that first interview. In a subsequent interview, Witness #2 identified the masked shooter by the nickname “Chief” and the name Jameson Kingsbury.

In the subsequent interview, Witness #2 stated that IT and “Chief” were playing dice a couple of weeks before the decedent was killed. Witness #2 stated that IT won the dice game, and along with it a quantity of “Chief”’s money. Upon winning the money “Chief” asked Witness #2 if he could hold some of the money Witness #2 won. Witness #2 stated that IT told “Chief” that he could not have any of the money back. Witness #2 stated that “Chief” was upset that the Witness would not give him any money back and this created a beef between the two.

Witness #2 also stated that in the days after the dice game “Chief” called IT and asked IT to steal a gun from a mutual friend. Witness #2 stated that IT told “Chief” no and this upset “Chief”. Witness #2 stated that after IT declined to steal the gun for “Chief” IT heard that “Chief” was upset and was out to get him. Witness #2 denied ever stealing a gun or being involved in a police chase near in time to the decedent’s death. Witness #2 also stated that IT does not recall having a conversation with Witness #1 wherein IT told Witness #1 that “Chief” was a shooter.

Witness #2 stated that on the day of the homicide IT went to Davidson Ave N.E. to hang out with the decedent. While hanging out with the decedent, Witness#2 stated that it was approached by an unknown individual who tapped him on the side and told him that someone was watching him. Witness #2 stated that he turned and looked behind him. When Witness #2 looked back IT saw a black male wearing a black mask and all black clothing holding a gun. Witness #2 stated that the eyes and bridge of the nose were exposed through the mask. Witness #2 stated that IT knew that the individual was “Chief”. Witness #2 specifically stated that he knew it was “Chief” from his body and the way he walked. Witness #2 stated that it has known “Chief” for years and IT knows that it was “Chief”. Witness #2 also stated that the coat “Chief” was wearing was a black sweatshirt, that “Chief” often wore that sweatshirt around the time of the murder, and that no one else from that area that Witness #2 was aware of wore a sweatshirt like that one.

Witness #2 further stated that he believed that the gun that the individual was holding, a mostly black handgun with an extended magazine, was the one that IT has seen “Chief” carry in the past. Witness #2 stated that “Chief” frequently carried the gun.

Your affiant is aware that the 1200 block of Davidson Ave N.E. is an area known for drug dealing, and that many people who spend time in that block are known to carry firearms.

Witness #2 stated that IT has known “Chief” for several years and that it has hung out with “Chief” in the Brownsville Heights neighborhood throughout the years. Witness #2 was shown a single confirmation photo of Jameson Kingsbury. While viewing the photo, Witness #2 stated “he had a mask but that’s him.” Witness #2 was asked if the photo was of the same individual he observed with a gun in his hand on the day of the homicide. Witness #2 stated that it was the same person. Witness #2 also stated that the individual in the confirmation photograph was known to IT as Jameson Kingsbury and “Chief”.

Witness #2 was shown still photographs taken from previously mentioned video obtained from the homicide. Witness #2 identified some individuals from those still photos. Witness #2 identified the individual in the jean jacket as “Drew”. Witness #2 stated that IT has known “Drew” for years, and that although “Drew” moved to New York for a time, in the months since “Drew” returned to the Washington, D.C. area, Witness #2 would see “Drew” on average approximately twice a week. Witness #2 was shown a single confirmation photo of Andrew Smalls. Witness #2 identified Andrew Smalls as “Drew”, the individual IT identified in the jean jacket from the still photos.

Detectives also spoke to Witness #6. During an initial interview with detectives, Witness #6 stated that IT was present in the 1200 block of Davidson Ave N.E. near in time to the shooting, but IT did not state that “Drew” was present at the time of the shooting. In a subsequent interview, Witness #6 stated that, among other people, “Drew” was present near in time to the gunshots that killed the decedent. Witness #6 stated that “Drew” was wearing a jean jacket. Witness #6 was shown still shots of the surveillance video and identified the person wearing the jean jacket as “Drew”. Witness #6 later identified “Drew” as Andrew Smalls via conformation photo. Witness #6 stated that IT had regular contact with “Drew” for months leading up to the shooting.

Jameson Kingsbury is responsible for the homicide of the decedent because he was armed and prepared to engage in gun violence; he did in fact engage in gun violence; he did not act in self-defense; his conduct was a substantial factor in bringing about the death of decedent; and under the circumstances it was reasonably foreseeable that death or serious bodily injury to bystanders could occur as a result of the defendant’s conduct.

Based on the aforementioned facts, your affiant believes that there is probable cause that Jameson Kingsbury participated in the Murder of Innis B. Stander, and therefore, respectfully requests the issuance of a D.C. Superior Court Arrest Warrant, charging him with Second Degree Murder While Armed in violation of D.C. Code §§ 22-2103, 4502.


If you have questions or require assistance applying please contact:

Jennifer Thomas, Director of Legal Recruiting
jenthomas@pdsdc.org or (202) 480-0385

PDS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and E-Verify Participating Agency.