The Washington Post

Report: Michael Davis tested negative for drugs when arrested

The man charged in a series of hammer attacks in the District tested negative for drugs at the time of his arrest, according to a report released Thursday.

An unidentified witness had told D.C. homicide detectives that Michael W. Davis, had a “history” of using PCP. The report, completed by a psychologist from St. Elizabeths Hospital, said Davis denied having a history of alcohol or substance abuse.

Davis, 19, is charged with one count of first-degree murder in the April 24 slaying of Gary Dederichs, 66, a Denver tourist. He is also charged with two counts of assault in separate attacks on two other people in Northwest’s Petworth neighborhood.

The St. Elizabeths staffer spent about four hours with Davis after he was arrested April 28, writing that Davis was not competent for trial and sought more time to determine whether his condition changes with medication or therapy, D.C. Superior Court Judge Robert E. Morin said at a May 11 hearing while reading from the report.

Morin released the report, which had been sealed, on Thursday.

In the report, the psychologist wrote that Davis exhibited “little energy or excitement” during the interviews and often gazed off or gave one- or two-word answers to questions.

Davis told the psychologist he attended a special education school in Baltimore and had two more years left.

When Davis was charged with Dederichs’s murder, a detective wrote in court documents that a witness told authorities Davis had a history of PCP use and had sought to purchase a gun.

The next hearing for Davis is scheduled for July 13, following further examinations at St. Elizabeths to determine Davis’s competency.

Nearly a year before the attacks, a D.C. Superior Court judge ordered Davis to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, court papers show. The documents do not indicate whether Davis displayed any violence at the time but said he suffered from “auditory and visual hallucinations.”

Schizophrenia and “borderline intellectual functioning” were diagnosed preliminarily, according to the papers.

Davis’s older brothers Vernon and Vontae Davis play for the National Football League’s San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins, respectively.

Keith Alexander covers crime, specifically D.C. Superior Court cases for The Washington Post. He has covered dozens of crime stories from Banita Jacks, the Washington woman charged with killing her four daughters, to the murder trial of slain federal intern Chandra Levy.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Making family dinnertime happen
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
New limbs for Pakistani soldiers
Play Videos
A veteran finds healing on a dog sled
Learn to make this twice-baked cookie
How to prevent 'e-barrassment'
Play Videos
Syrian refugee: 'I’m committed to the power of music'
The art of tortilla-making
Michael Bolton's cinematic serenade to Detroit
Play Videos
Circus nuns: These sisters are no act
5 ways to raise girls to be leaders
Cool off with sno-balls, a New Orleans treat