ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) -- At a pre-trial hearing in a high-profile Alexandria murder case, a judge denied the defense access to the victim's cell phone.
The defense argues that former Arlington County Deputy Craig Patterson shot 22-year-old Julian Dawkins in self-defense after the young man chased him with a knife last May.
The defense says since Dawkins' body contained evidence of marijuana use and a .15 blood alcohol content, there may be more drug-related evidence on the cell phone which would have given him reason to resist arrest.
The judge ordered Commonwealth's Attorney Randy Sengel to hand over any photos taken the night Dawkins died which show him using alcohol or drugs.
But the judge stopped short there, refusing to allow the defense access to Dawkins' cellphone, saying that it's "more than a little intrusive to allow you unfettered access to those photos."
Sengel said the phone contained 12 to 1,500 photos but that they were personal and irrelevant to the case.
The judge also refused to allow the defense to use public funds on experts witnesses, siding with Sengel. The Commonwealth's Attorney has given three text messages the Dawkins received or sent the night he was shot to death.
The Commonwealth contends that Patterson, after having a confrontation with Dawkins, went home to get his badge, gun and handcuffs, returned and murdered Dawkins who was unarmed. A folded knife was found in the young man's pocket.
Dawkins' mother, Gwen Pratt Miller, says her son was not involved in any sort of drug dealing and was murdered in cold blood by Craig Patterson. His murder trial starts December 9, 2013.