President Joe Biden, even with a Democratic-controlled Senate for his first two years in office, has struggled at times to get various administrative and judicial nominees confirmed, often because of the radical leftist policies those individuals espouse or put into practice.
Such is the case for a D.C. judge nominated for the federal bench who failed to clear the Senate Judiciary Committee after revelations that a repeat felony offender he had once released had gone on to participate in the murder of an innocent 11-year-old boy, Fox News reported.
The grim situation had been highlighted by Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) during the judge’s confirmation hearing, and the judge’s attempted explanation apparently failed to convince all of the Democrats on the committee, as a final vote to advance the nomination to a full Senate vote was never held. Given that the current congressional session is about to expire, so too will that Biden nomination.
D.C. Judge Edelman nominated by Biden
It was in July that the White House announced that President Biden had nominated D.C. Superior Court Judge Todd Edelman to serve as a federal district judge in D.C.
That announcement went on to highlight Edelman’s extensive legal education and work experience as an attorney and public defender.
Yet, during his confirmation hearing in mid-November, it was a 2020 case in which Judge Edelman had granted pre-trial release to a man who would months later be involved in a shootout that claimed the life of an innocent boy that garnered the most attention, according to Fox News.
Decision to release armed felon later involved in murder questioned
During her time for questioning, Sen. Blackburn grilled Judge Edelman over his decision to release Christian Wingfield with a GPS ankle bracelet while he was awaiting trial on a charge of illegal possession of a firearm.
Just a short time later, Wingfield and others engaged in a shootout with a rival group in which a stray bullet struck and killed an 11-year-old boy named Davon McNeal — ironically enough at a July 4 “stop the violence” cookout event.
Blackburn noted that at the time of Wingfield’s release, Judge Edelman was aware that the defendant already had “multiple arrests for illegally possessing a firearm,” had been previously involved in the illegal discharge of a firearm, and that just a week earlier a separate judge had denied a request from Wingfield for pre-trial release due to the fact that he posed a “safety risk” to the community.
“Why did you do this?”
When asked why, given all of those facts and more, he had decided to release Wingfield, the nominee explained that the defendant had been facing a “non-violent charge,” had no prior violent crime convictions, and that investigators had ultimately determined that Wingfield had not fired the fatal shot to murder McNeal.
Blackburn, however, who said that decision had been “worse than reckless,” did not appear to accept that explanation, as she lambasted Edelman for seeking a “promotion” while McNeal was dead and asserted that he lacked the proper judgment to be confirmed to a federal judicial bench.
Wingfield currently serving a 9+ year sentence for McNeal shooting
According to local CBS affiliate WUSA in June, Wingfield had pleaded guilty along with four others to voluntary manslaughter while armed and aiding and abetting in the tragic crossfire death of McNeal at the “stop the violence” cookout.
Wingfield, who was determined to have not actually fired a shot in that incident and who apologized to the family for the boy’s death, was nonetheless sentenced to nine-and-a-half years in prison plus five years of supervised release.