Northeast DC

Murder Charge Dropped Against Man in High-Speed Chase, Crash in DC

There is new information Friday night in a killing that D.C. police initially thought was road rage

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A murder charge has been dropped in a case that D.C. police initially thought was road rage.

Malik Williams was charged with murder after witnesses say he shot and killed the driver of a Jeep after a crash Monday in Northeast — but court documents are laying out a much different story, and the murder charge against Williams has now been dropped.

On Monday morning in a parking lot on Hillside Road SE, police say, Jamal Butler was looking for his missing Honda when he spotted Malik Williams getting into the car with two small children.

There was a confrontation before Williams drove off in the Honda and Butler followed in a Jeep, police say. Surveillance video from multiple cameras show the two engaged in a high-speed pursuit, with Butler chasing Williams in the Honda with the two kids, ages 2 and 5. Both drivers ran at least one red light.

On Benning Road, police say, Butler, at the wheel of the Jeep, slammed into the back of the Honda before it crashed into two other cars on 45th Street NE.

According to the court document, police say several witnesses saw Williams get out of the Honda after the crash and get hit by the Jeep.

One witness saw someone pinned between two vehicles and then heard what sounded like four gunshots. The witness then called 911 to say he saw the driver of the gold vehicle limping toward the Benning Road Metro station.

Police say Williams was later found at United Medical Center with injuries to both legs. He claimed he had been in an accident on Southern Avenue, police said.

Back at the scene, one witness told police he saw Williams slide a gun into a sewer. That gun has been recovered, a pistol that police described as a ghost gun.

When an officer found the children still inside the Honda, he asked the five-year-old, "Oh, there was someone chasing ya'll?"

The child replied, "No, there was someone who was chasing Bones. [Bones] crashed the car and then the other guy was bumping into us."

The court affidavit says "Bones" is a nickname for Williams, who had been babysitting the young children, a fact supported by their mother.

Williams did not appear in D.C. Superior Court Friday and is still hospitalized. As to why the murder charge was dropped, the U.S. Attorney's Office has a policy against explaining why prosecutors drop charges against any defendant.

News4 reached out to Butler's wife for comment, but she declined to speak.

Williams is now facing just one charge of carrying a pistol without a license.

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