Defendant Receives Eight Year Sentence in Non-Fatal Shooting

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On Feb. 9, D.C Superior Court Judge Robert Okun sentenced a defendant for his involvement in a non-fatal shooting incident in 2019.

Kenneth Gray, 24, was originally charged with two counts of assault with intent to kill while armed and three counts of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, among other charges, for his involvement in a non-fatal shooting incident that took place on May 27, 2019, on the 1300 block of Brentwood Road, NE. The violence left an individual suffering from life-threatening injuries. 

On Nov. 30, 2022, Gray accepted a deal that required him to plead guilty to assault with a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, in reference to the shooting incident, and simple assault and possession of a prohibited weapon in reference to an unrelated matter. 

The parties agreed to a sentencing range of six-to-eight years incarceration, with all the sentences running concurrently. 

During sentencing, the prosecution requested Judge Okun sentence Gray to eight years. . 

According to the prosecution, Gray fired more than 20 bullets in a crowded block. Prosecutors described Gray’s actions as having “all the hallmarks of the kind of gun violence plaguing the city.”

The prosecution also mentioned Gray’s history of unlawful gun possession, violent offenses, and violence during his incarceration. While serving time in prison, Gray accumulated 15 disciplinary reports for incidents such as assault, fighting, threatening staff, and possession of weapons. 

Even so, prosecutors say he earned his high school degree in prison; however, they argued that should affect on his sentencing. 

Gray’s defense attorney, Michael Madden, asked Judge Okun to take into consideration that Gray has completed his high school education and will be able to lean on support from his mother due to her consistent involvement in the case.

Since Gray was 20 at the time of the incident, Madden also requested he be sentenced under the Youth Rehabilitation Act (YRA), which allows a defendant’s conviction be effectively sealed if he successfully completes sentencing requirements.

Judge Okun denied the request to sentence him under YRA, citing the nature of the crime and Gray’s role in it. 

Before sentencing, the judge stated that it was “fortunate that no one died” in the incident. He further described Gray’s conduct in prison as “abysmal.”

The judge concluded that a “sentence at the maximum [of the guideline] is appropriate.”

Judge Okun sentenced Gray to 72 months for the assault charge, 96 months for the firearm related charges, 180 days for a second assault charge and 1 year for a weapons charge. The sentences will be served concurrently, which means Gray is expected to serve eight years of incarceration.

Judge Okun stated that he will recommend the parole board perform a mental health evaluation, a substance abuse evaluation, and that Gray find employment upon his release.

No further dates will be set for this case.

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