San Francisco filmmaker Kevin Epps, once arrested in connection with a 2016 killing in The City’s Glen Park neighborhood but later released, has been rearrested and charged with murder.
Epps, 51, appeared in a San Francisco courtroom on Wednesday for arraignment on the murder charge as well as weapons charges. He’s accused of fatally gunning down 45-year-old Marcus Polk on Oct. 24, 2016. Responding officers found Polk suffering from gunshot wounds in a home in the 100 block of Addison Street and he was pronounced dead there.
Officers initially arrested Epps in connection with the slaying but the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office later dropped the charges, citing a lack of evidence.
The city’s recently sworn-in Public Defender Manohar Raju has been appointed to represent Epps.
During his Wednesday arraignment, however, Assistant District Attorney John Rowland argued that the Public Defender’s Office representing Epps poses a conflict of interest because it had also represented the victim in the case, Polk, numerous times in the past.
Rowland also argued that Epps be held without bail because he is a flight risk, citing more than $21,000 in cash that was found in Epps’ possession when he was arrested by police on Tuesday.
Epps did not enter a plea and Judge Christine Van Aken put the arraignment over to Friday, at which time she may rule on whether Raju’s representation poses a conflict of interest and whether Epps will be granted bail.
Prosecutors haven’t said what new evidence exists to prompt the new charges.
Epps is known for his 2003 film “Straight Outta Hunters Point,” which documented life in the Hunters Point neighborhood in southeast San Francisco.
Outside of court, Raju said:
“Mr. Epps is someone who is a longstanding vital member of the community because he’s a tremendous artist. He’s a member of the NAACP, a member of the Bay Area Black Journalists Association; he’s on the board of the San Francisco Black Film Festival. He has a very supportive community.”
Several of Epps’ family members and supporters showed up to the arraignment, including former city supervisor the Rev. Amos Brown. A close friend of Epps, Brown said Epps’ family is distraught by his arrest, particularly because the charges were once dropped.
“All this has come out of the clear blue so we’re waiting to find out and know what the facts are. But more importantly he deserves justice and fairness.”