Judge Grants Continuance Sentencing

Defense counsel for a man convicted of murder requested a continuance July 11, so he could consult with his client on whether the defendant would like to withdraw his guilty plea.

After more than three years of pretrial detention, Stephon Evans entered guilty pleas in both cases during his most recent hearing on April 8. He pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter while armed in 22-year-old Michael Taylor’s death and carrying a pistol without a license in the case of 21-year-old Dion DeMarco Boyd on July 30, 2018. Boyd was killed on the evening of July 30, 2018, while Taylor was killed on Jan. 12, 2019. Both men were shot in Northeast, DC.

During the July 11 sentencing, Evans’ defense attorney, Jesse Winograd, objected to the mother of one of the victims providing an impact statement. 

Winograd said there is “no mention whatsoever of any knowledge of Mr. Boyd’s death” on the part of Evans. “Mr. Evans only admitted conduct was possession of a gun.”

DC Superior Court Judge Robert Okun allowed Boyd’s mother to speak. 

Other victim impact statements were read by Taylor’s four family members. They all provided an emotional appeal to Judge Okun and addressed the defendant directly. 

“Sorry to the people I have caused hurt or pain to” Evans said.

After considering counsel arguments and victim impact statements, Judge Okun sentenced Evans to two concurrent sentences of 12-years for voluntary manslaughter and one year for carrying a pistol without a license.

According to Winograd, the request addresses factors that were considered at the time of the sentencing, including the defendant’s connection to Boyd’s case. Winograd said Evans never pleaded guilty to any involvement in that case.

The prosecution was hesitant about a continuance since the court already signaled what the sentencing would be. Nevertheless, the judge granted the continuance and did not impose the sentence. 

Judge Okun scheduled a status hearing for July 28. 

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