In court papers filed on July 31, prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s office charged Reginald Anthony Klaiber, 24, of Greenbelt, Md., with assault with a dangerous weapon-bias related in connection with the stabbing incident.
“Such criminal act demonstrated the prejudice of Reginald Klaiber based on the actual or perceived gender identity and expression of [the victim],” one of the prosecutors states in a criminal complaint filed in D.C. Superior Court.
The victim, who was being treated for a non-life threatening stab wound at Washington Hospital Center, was tentatively scheduled to be sent home on Friday, according to Jae-La White, one of two friends who were with the victim at the time of the stabbing.
Superior Court Judge Karen Howze ordered Klaiber held in jail until he appeared in court on Friday, for a preliminary hearing. But at the start of Friday’s hearing, defense attorney Veronice Holt said she and her client weren’t prepared for the hearing, saying she was unable to schedule sufficient time to consult with Klaiber.
At Holt’s request, Superior Court Judge Frederick Sullivan agreed to postpone the hearing until Wednesday, Aug. 6. Sullivan ordered that Klaiber remain in custody until the Aug. 6 hearing, when he is expected to rule on whether Klaiber should remain held until the time of his trial or until a possible agreement is reached in which he pleads guilty with the promise by prosecutors of a reduced sentence.
Holt and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Bruckmann, the lead prosecutor in the case, made reference to a possible early “disposition” of the case during Friday’s court proceeding, suggesting that a plea offer might be under consideration. However, William Miller, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s office, told the Washington Blade a plea offer isn’t on the table.
“We typically do not comment on the possibility of pleas in our cases,” he said in an email, “but I can tell you that no plea offer has been made in this case. We expect the preliminary hearing to take place on Wednesday.”
Under the D.C. criminal code, a conviction for assault with a dangerous/deadly weapon carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. A conviction for that offense with a hate crime designation could subject Klaiber to a one-and-a-half times “enhanced” penalty at the discretion of the judge.