The man charged with brutally beating a mother and daughter to death before setting their Rugby Avenue home on fire one year ago appeared in Charlottesville Circuit Court December 7 for a motions hearing.
Gene Washington faces capital murder charges for the death of special education teacher Robin Aldridge and her daughter, Mani.
Judge Rick Moore denied a request by Washington’s defense attorneys—Katherine Jensen and Lloyd Snook—that called for the commonwealth’s attorney to not be present while the defense views evidence, instead asking for supervision by an evidence technician or police officer.
“We shouldn’t have someone looking over our shoulder,” Jensen said. “We’re just asking for the playing field to be even.”
According to Jensen, prosecutors gauge the defense’s reactions to each piece of evidence and take note of how long they spend looking at specific pieces. The defense is not allowed in the room while the prosecuting attorney views evidence.
“I don’t think I can take that right away from [the prosecutors],” Judge Moore said, denying the motion. Two other motions, which were granted, were procedural.
Some of the evidence in Washington’s trial includes a bent knife, rubber gloves, blood-stained sneakers potentially belonging to him and bloody towels or sheets he allegedly used to wrap the Aldridges’ bodies after he beat them and before he set their home on fire.
Washington’s trial is in May. His next motions hearing is set for February.