Homicide Defendant Accepts Plea Deal

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A homicide defendant accepted a plea offer in front of DC Superior Court Judge Anthony Epstein on June 20. 

Javon Duckwilder, 27,  was originally charged with first-degree premeditated murder while armed, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, unlawful possession of a firearm by a convict, and carrying a pistol without a license, for his involvement in the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Juwan Smith on Oct. 23, 2021, on the 2800 block of Alabama Avenue, SE. 

According to documents, the shooting stemmed from a verbal altercation between Smith and Duckwilder at a gas station, which escalated to Duckwilder shooting Smith. 

During the hearing, Jesse Winograd, Duckwilder’s defense attorney, alerted Judge Epstein that his defendant accepted an offer extended by prosecutors, which required him to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter while armed, in exchange for a dismissal of all other charges. 

Through the deal, parties agreed to a sentence of 12 years.

Winograd told Judge Epstein they’d be requesting Duckwilder be sentenced under the Youth Rehabilitation Act (YRA), which allows a defendant that committed a crime under the age of 25 to have their case sealed from public view if sentencing requirements are met.

Parties are set to reconvene for sentencing on Sept. 27. 

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