District Attorney’s Office slow to produce evidence against Kevin Epps ahead of preliminary trial


Filmmaker Kevin Epps was chosen as one of the first de Young Artist Fellows, a program that involves the de Young Museum’s sponsorship of an artist’s work both inside and outside the museum. On his page of the de Young Museum’s website is written: “Epps has collaborated on projects with Google, Yahoo, Discovery Channel, Current TV, and a host of other media partners. His passion for advocacy of underserved communities has led him to give back by working with various community art spaces as well as serving on the boards of two local nonprofit organizations.”

by #FreeKevinEpps contributor

San Francisco – Filmmaker Kevin Epps was in court again on June 6 at the Hall of Justice, where he has been denied bail since his arrest on May 7.

His first appearance of the day was before Judge Teresa Caffese to set the date for his preliminary hearing, Thursday, July 11, at 9:00 a.m. in Department 20 at the Hall of Justice, 850 Bryant St.

This appearance was soon followed by his fifth hearing before Judge Christine Van Aken for status of discovery as requested by the defense. The defense attorney, Mark Vermeulen, showed his ongoing frustration with Assistant D.A. John Rowland due to the delays in the prosecution’s production of several discovery items that are likely to be material in the preliminary hearing.

One significant delay is that Rowland has only partially submitted information surrounding new expert testimony. Vermeulen argued that this testimony must “form the basis for his [Rowland’s] opinion” and perhaps is ultimately a key to the prosecution bringing charges against Epps from 2016. Therefore, it is unacceptable for it to be only partially submitted to the defense.

Epps, an award-winning filmmaker and community activist, was not charged in September 2016 when Marcus Polk, a convicted sex offender with a notable criminal history, invaded Epps’s home and was subsequently fatally wounded by Epps. Epps, whose family was endangered when Polk forced his way into their home, claimed self-defense and no charges were brought against him due to insufficient evidence.

However, on May 1, the District Attorney’s office issued a warrant for Epps’ arrest citing “strong new evidence” as the basis.

The only new evidence the prosecution appears to have is in the form of three-dimensional models of the alleged crime scene. Rowland has yet to turn over any of the attachments related to the models that attest to the experience or reputation of who produced them.

Epps, an award-winning filmmaker and community activist, was not charged in September 2016 when Marcus Polk, a convicted sex offender with a notable criminal history, invaded Epps’s home and was subsequently fatally wounded by Epps. Epps, whose family was endangered when Polk forced his way into their home, claimed self-defense and no charges were brought against him due to insufficient evidence.

However, on May 1, the District Attorney’s office issued a warrant for Epps’s arrest citing “strong new evidence” as the basis.

The only new evidence the prosecution appears to have is in the form of three-dimensional models of the alleged crime scene. Rowland has yet to turn over any of the attachments related to the models that attest to the experience or reputation of who produced them.

Vermeulen was visibly frustrated as he asserted that the prosecution is “making no progress to minimal progress” with respect to providing a long list of discovery items to the defense. In fact, after the hearing, Rowland provided only three out of 12 interviews from 2016 to the defense despite multiple written and email requests by Vermeulen for all of the interviews beginning on May 20.

On May 1, the District Attorney’s office issued a warrant for Epps’ arrest citing “strong new evidence” as the basis. The only new evidence the prosecution appears to have is in the form of three-dimensional models of the alleged crime scene. Rowland has yet to turn over any of the attachments related to the models that attest to the experience or reputation of who produced them.

Rowland brushed off accusations that he is negligently delaying the production of the discovery process by telling the court, “I have just been trying to organize the materials I have to match the written requests and email requests. I’m working as diligently as I can.”

To this, Van Aken stated, “The prosecution knew this was coming and they need to find these items.” She set a date of June 11 at 9:00 a.m. for a status of discovery hearing in Department 11 at The Hall of Justice, yet she would not make any orders for discovery items to be turned over in favor of the defense.

It seems that the District Attorney’s Office has no new evidence other than the testimony of their own expert witness whose credibility is currently unknown other than to the prosecution themselves. Furthermore, this evidence has only been partially provided to the defense. Meanwhile, Kevin Epps has been in custody for more than 30 days at the time of this report.

If the D.A. has no new credible evidence against Epps since 2016, the charges against him need to be dismissed.

If the D.A. has no new credible evidence against Epps since 2016, the charges against him need to be dismissed. Let’s hope that the judge at the preliminary trial will see that the prosecution is grasping at straws in attempting to bring this case in front of a jury.

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