Judge Sentences Convicted Murderer to 25 Years

A judge sentenced a convicted murderer to more than two decades in prison for shooing a man in 2016.

Andre Becton was found guilty of second-degree murder while armed and two gun-related  charges for his role in the death of 35-year-old Darnell Peoples on the 600 block of Mellon Street, SE.

DC Superior Court Judge Juliet McKenna sentenced 27-year-old Becton to 25 years in prison, saying the shooting was not his first conviction with a firearm and that she believed he “had a chance to turn his life around from his last conviction.”

During the sentencing, six members of Peoples’ family told Judge McKenna that Peoples was a loving and caring person.

“Darnell was my best friend, Dre you took that from me,” said the mother of People’s daughter. “My daughter will never know what it’s like to have a relationship with her father. I have to tell her every day how great he was because she will never know.”

She also said she lost two jobs from not being able to focus at work and wakes up at random hours during the night.

People’s grandmother said she would never forget the look on her grandson’s face when she saw him in the street after he was shot.

“I’ll never get to see his smiling face again, or hear him tell me a joke,” the grandmother said. “He will never call me again and ask if I need anything from the store. I hope I’ll see him again soon one day.”

The prosecution said that Becton had previously been incarcerated for an assault with a deadly weapon charge in 2009. “He got in trouble for shooting two people in that case. Thankfully those shots were not fatal but that should’ve been a warning to Becton to change his behavior. But, instead, he was released and killed someone,” the prosecutor said.

The prosecution requested that Becton be sentenced to 30 years in jail. Twenty-two years for the murder and eight years for the gun charges.

However, Becton’s defense attorney, Jeffrey Stein, requested that the judge sentence him to 12 years in prison, saying the defendant will be held irregardless because the gun offenses violated his supervised release terms. Becton will now have to serve out the rest of the sentence for his assault conviction after the murder sentence.

This is “senseless, brazen and frankly arrogant.” Judge McKenna said.

D.C. Witness previously reported that on Sept. 15, 2016, Peoples’ was high on PCP, a mind altering drug, when he approached a group of individuals, including Becton. Peoples’ then said a homophobic comment. An eyewitness heard Becton tell Peoples to “get away.” The witness then said that she saw the two men “tussling” and then saw Becton shoot “downward” towards Peoples. Before he died, Peoples told police that Becton shot him.