Judge Sentences Co-Defendants in 2020 Homicide Case

DC Superior Court Judge Robert Okun sentenced two murder defendants on June 17 for their role in a 2020 homicide case. 

In February, Randle Price and Marwin Thomas pleaded guilty to fatally shooting 33-year-old John Pollard II on the 3200 Block of Hiatt Place, NW in 2020. 

Judge Okun sentenced Price, 30, to 9.5 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter while armed. Thomas, 28, received an 11-years sentence for voluntary manslaughter while armed. 

As part of the plea deal, the prosecution and defense agreed to recommend a sentence of 7.5 years to 11 years in prison for both defendants. 

The prosecution argued to sentence Price and Thomas to serve 11-years in prison. However, Price’s attorney’s, Joseph Wong and Rachel Cicurel, argued that Price should receive a 7.5-year sentence because he is intellectually disability, which impairs his ability to foresee and understand his actions. 

“We are asking for that severe punishment to be proportional to the offense,” Cicurel told the judge. “There is a difference between reacting and spiraling out of control than pulling a gun and ending a life.”

Thomas’s attorney, Russell Hairston, also argued against Thomas serving the maximum 11-years in prison. Hairston said Thomas has come a long way since the homicide.  

During his time in jail, Thomas wrote a book on what he has gone through and what he would like to do when he gets out. The book details that Thomas wants to lecture and mentor kids in D.C. about the rage he has encountered and how there are better ways to handle it. 

During the sentencing, many of Pollard’s family members had an opportunity to address the court.

“I want to let these young men know that they took a piece of my heart. I hope they never have to go through this. This is a feeling no one should ever feel,” Pollard’s father said. “I hope they can learn from this and give back to society… Maybe the system can help them instead of corrupting them to be worse.”

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