Judge Rules Suspects in Brutal Capitol Hill Beating Should Be Held in Custody

By Derrick Ward
|  Friday, Oct 12, 2012  |  Updated 9:34 PM EDT
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The suspects in the beating and robbery of a man near Eastern Market were in court Friday. News4's Derrick Ward reports. (Courtroom sketches by William Hennessy.)

Derrick Ward, William Hennessy

The suspects in the beating and robbery of a man near Eastern Market were in court Friday. News4's Derrick Ward reports. (Courtroom sketches by William Hennessy.)

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A judge ruled Friday that two men suspected in an August attack near Eastern Market should remain in custody.

Sunny Kuti and Tommy Branch are accused of brutally beating and robbing Thomas Maslin, who wasn’t found for several hours after the attack. A third suspect, Michael Moore, waived his hearing.

Lead Detective Robert Saunders testified that Branch admitted to a role in the attack to an unnamed witness and later to police. Branch said he took Maslin's credit card and was the one seen on surveillance video trying to use that credit card at a gas station.

Friday’s testimony also revolved around another attack the defendants in this case are accused of on the same night Maslin was attacked. After that second attack, police recovered Maslin’s cellphone, which later linked the suspects to the case.

Friday’s hearing also was the first time Maslin’s wife, Abby, and his parents saw the men charged in the crime.

Abby kept her eyes on Kuti and Branch during the hearing. Afterward, she said the experience was too draining for her to speak.

Thursday night, Abby Maslin was among those at the announcement of a fall safety festival next weekend that is aimed at bringing safety back to neighborhoods like the Capitol Hill community where her husband was attacked.

"It should not take horrible circumstances such as these to kind of inspire that spirit come together," she said.

The suspects are due back in court Nov. 8.

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