Judge Drops Murder Charge Against Woman in DC Car Theft Incident

A recent incident in Washington, D.C. saw a woman allegedly steal a car with a passenger inside, resulting in the passenger’s death and sparking legal controversy. Leslie Marie Gaines, 55, had just finished a therapy session at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital when she experienced health issues. Her daughter left her in the car while fetching a wheelchair, during which time Kayla Kenisha Brown, 22, allegedly drove off with the vehicle.

A Metro Police captain observed the stolen car speeding before it crashed into a federal building. Brown attempted to escape on foot but was captured. Gaines, found unresponsive in the car, was later declared dead at George Washington Hospital. Brown was taken to the same hospital for evaluation.

Brown’s parents had called 911 earlier that day, reporting her unusual behavior after meeting a man on Instagram. They believed she was on drugs. Surveillance footage showed Brown approaching and driving away in the car. Initially charged with felony murder, kidnapping, and unarmed carjacking, Brown saw the murder and kidnapping charges dropped by D.C. Superior Court Judge Heide Herrmann, who found insufficient evidence for those charges.

Prosecutors still plan to present their case to a grand jury. Brown’s attorney argued that Gaines’ car had been left running, making the theft non-violent, and that Gaines’ cause of death remains undetermined.

Reflecting on the situation, one might humorously wonder: maybe next time, Brown should stick to public transportation. After all, stealing cars is a lot more trouble than just buying a bus pass.

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