Wynn was charged in December with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Eric Linnair Wright in February 2017. Wright, 53, was shot in the 900 block of 12th Street NE, just outside the Trinidad neighborhood in Northeast Washington, where Wynn grew up and would later work to prevent violence.
Wynn’s attorney, Brian K. McDaniel, said he and Wynn were “thankful to God for providing justice” in the case.
“We are glad that the judge saw what we have been arguing, that is Mr. Wynn was not responsible for Mr. Wright’s death. Now Mr. Wynn can concentrate on returning to serving the community he loves,” McDaniel said after the hearing.
Prosecutors can seek to recharge Wynn if authorities gather additional evidence in the case. A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in the District did not provide a comment on the judge’s ruling.
Until his arrest, Wynn worked as a violence interrupter, a contract position with the city’s anti-violence Cure the Streets initiative. The program is run through the D.C. attorney general’s office.
According to court charging documents at the time of Wynn’s arrest, D.C. homicide detectives got a possible break in the cold case when police received an anonymous tip from someone who identified Wynn as a person captured in surveillance video that was taken near the shooting scene and posted by police to YouTube. Another witness also identified Wynn as the person in the video, according to the complaint.
McDaniel said that at the hearing Monday, the lead detective testified that police had no information on an unidentified person who was captured on video walking with Wright about the time of the shooting. Wynn was also on video but entered the block about 30 seconds behind Wright and the unidentified person, McDaniel said.
The detective, reached by The Washington Post, confirmed McDaniel’s account of his testimony.
Despite arguments from Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachel Forman that Wynn was responsible for Wright’s murder, Dayson agreed with McDaniel, who argued that the evidence was weak.
Wynn’s arrest shocked those who worked in various anti-violence programs. Wynn has been profiled on local television newscasts highlighting how he had turned his life around, and he was pictured in a photograph in The Post in March with an article on the difficulties of doing outreach work during the early days of the pandemic.
McDaniel said Wynn hopes to return to violence-prevention work.
D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine (D) declined to comment on whether Wynn might resume his position with the anti-violence program because he had not yet received detailed information on the judge’s decision.