San Francisco

San Francisco Filmmaker Kevin Epps in Court on Murder Charges

Filmmaker Kevin Epps, well known for making the documentary “Straight Outta Hunters Point,” was ordered held without bail Wednesday on murder charges.

The charges are linked to the October 2016 shooting death of Marcus Polk, inside Epps' home. It’s a case prosecutors declined to file charges on back in 2016.

In court Wednesday, the 51-year-old Epps did not enter a plea and his arraignment was set for Friday.

Public Defender Manohar Raju argued that Epps, who has strong family ties, was not a flight risk and should be released.

“Mr. Epps is someone who is a longstanding, vital member of the community who is a tremendous artist,” Raju said after court, noting Epps is a member of the NAACP, the Bay Area Black Journalists Association and serves on the board of the San Francisco Black Film Festival. “He has a very supportive community here that, had we known about this earlier, there wouldn’t have been enough room in the courtroom for all the people who support Mr. Epps.”

“We’re looking forward to getting more details, and investigating the case, and, eventually, freeing Mr. Epps.”

Prosecutor John Rowland argued against bail, saying Epps could be a flight risk. Noting Epps had more than $21,000 cash on him at the time of his arrest on Tuesday.

The judge ordered Epps to remain in jail without bail until at least his scheduled arraignment Friday.

After the court hearing ended, Epps' mother left the courtroom in tears.

“They have every reason to be distraught,” said Rev. Amos Brown, speaking for the family. “Particularly in the first instance… he was exonerated and all of this has come out of the clear blue. So we’re waiting to find out the facts are. But more importantly, I repeat again, he deserves justice. And fairness.”

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