A Biden administration nominee to sit on the U.S. District Court released a convicted criminal in 2020 who later that year was involved in the murder of a 10-year-old boy in Washington, D.C., and entered a guilty plea related to that crime.
Judge Todd Edelman was nominated by President Biden in September to serve on the U.S. District Court of Washington, D.C. Edelman currently sits on the district’s Superior Court, where he presided over a case involving Christian Wingfield, who was awaiting a trial for illegal possession of a firearm. Edelman released Wingfield with a GPS monitoring ankle bracelet.
Shortly after his release, Wingfield was involved in the murder of a 10-year-old boy, Davon McNeal, on July 4, 2020, while attending a “stop-the-violence” cookout.
Edelman was questioned about his decision to release Wingfield in a Tuesday nomination hearing at the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“When you made the choice to release Mr. Wingfield, you knew these following facts,” Senator Marcia Blackburn, R-Tenn., said at the hearing. “You knew that he had multiple arrests for illegally possessing a firearm. And you know that he had been identified, as the person who, on another occasion, had been shooting a gun in the street at 1 p.m. in broad daylight.”
Blackburn added that a week prior to Edelman’s decision to release Wingfield, another judge denied Wingfield’s request for pre-trial release because he posed a “safety risk” to the community.
“You knew that releasing him with a GPS ankle bracelet wouldn’t protect the community because he had already illegally fired a gun while he was on GPS monitoring for a prior offense,” Blackburn said. “Your decision to release this criminal given his dangerous record and record of non-compliance was worse than reckless.”
Edelman said he recalled “virtually all the facts” and defended his decision by calling the charge of illegal gun possession “non-violent.” Edelman also stated that Wingfield pleaded guilty to “a lesser charge” of associating with the group that killed McNeal, and was not the person who the fired the gun. Wingfiled eventually pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter.
“We want our judges keeping criminals behind bars, not setting them free into our communities. A child is dead because Judge Edelman didn’t do his job, and now he wants a promotion,” Blackburn told Fox News Digital in a statement. “I cannot support a nominee who has shown such reckless disregard for his duty to keep Americans safe.”
A vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee to confirm Edelman’s nomination is likely to take place after the Thanksgiving holiday.