A D.C. Superior Court judge has released from official custody a 19-year-old Landover youth arrested earlier this week and charged with first-degree murder in the July 6 stabbing death of his 76-year-old grandmother.
Judge Frederick H. Weisberg ordered Wayne Stanley Pope released to the custody of his mother on the condition that he not enter the District of Columbia and that he not have any contact with his father, Henry E. Pope, who is the son of the dead woman. Pope's parents are separated.
In a hearing late Monday, Weisberg said he was aware of the change last week in the D.C. criminal code which allows judges to hold first-degree murder suspects without bond if they are a danger to the community. But Weisberg said he believed Pope's release to his mother's custody would be sufficient to protect the community and insure that he would return for subsequent court hearings.
The younger Pope was arrested Monday on charges that he stabbed Mattie Thompson Pope, of 645 14th St. NE, after an argument in the elderly woman's home.
Pope's case is the second time the U.S. Attorney's office has attempted to use the revised statute to keep first-degree murder suspects in prison while awaiting trial. Last Friday, another D.C. Superior Court judge ordered a suspect detained.