Defendant Pleads Guilty to Murder

A defendant charged in connection with a 2019 homicide resolved his case with a plea deal on July 20.

Vaughn Kosh pleaded guilty to second-degree murder while armed for shooting 38-year-old Alayna Howard in her apartment on the 1700 block of Capitol Street, NE, on Dec. 7, 2019. He also pleaded guilty to assault, aggravated assault while armed and assault with a dangerous weapon for attacking members of Howard’s family.

According to court documents, the plea deal includes an agreement between Kosh and the prosecution that 15-20 years is an appropriate sentence for all the charges.

According to the proffer of facts, at about 5:14 a.m., the 49-year-old defendant forced open the door to Howard’s apartment, which was next door to his, and had a brief verbal altercation with a man before shooting him. The man fled outside the building and called the police.

When Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers arrived on scene, they heard shots from inside the building. Kosh shot at Howard and her relative, killing Howard and wounding the other woman, according to the proffer of facts.

Later that morning, after receiving a warrant, officers entered Kosh’s apartment and found a .25 caliber handgun hidden beneath the cushions of an ottoman and two live rounds of ammunition in the toilet.

Kosh had an ongoing dispute with the male victim and had previous altercations with him. Kosh said that Howard did not clean her apartment, which caused odor and infestation issues in his. He also said that the male victim had broken into his apartment on multiple occasions. 

Kosh said that he fired at Howard because she was the cause of the problems. He also said that he felt remorse for his actions but that Howard and the other victims had pushed him too hard for too long.

Kosh was initially charged with first-degree murder while armed, and was indicted last December. As a part of the plea deal he made, his charges of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, assault with intent to kill while armed, assault with a dangerous weapon, first-degree burglary while armed and unlawful possession of a firearm will be dismissed.

Judge Marisa Demeo scheduled Kosh to be sentenced on Oct. 8.