Judge Sentences Defendant to 35-Years saying, ‘Youth Is Not An Excuse’

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During a Sept. 14 sentencing hearing, DC Superior Court Judge Robert Okun sentenced Saquan Williams to a total of 35 years in prison.

On July 18, 2022, a jury convicted Williams, 22, and Quincy Garvin, 23, of conspiracy, first-degree murder while armed, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence and criminal street gang affiliation for his involvement in the murder of 24-year-old Carl Hardy on the 1200 block of I Street, SE on Sept. 10, 2017. 

After the shooting, Hardy was sent to a local hospital for treatment and succumbed to his injuries on Oct. 1, 2017.

The prosecution submitted an impact statement on behalf of the Hardy family.

Carl Hardy’s mother’s death was linked to heartbreak following her son’s death. Hardy’s sister’s son was born shortly after Hardy passed away in the same hospital. He was described as being like his uncle, and “both have and had a wonderful spirit.” Hardy left behind two children, a son and a daughter. 

Although it was not read aloud in court, the defense submitted a letter from a Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) employee. The defense attorney, Kevin Robertson, discussed Williams’s good work while incarcerated, citing him as an outstanding mediator at the detention facility. Williams is in pursuit of a college degree. 

The defense urged Judge Okun to consider Williams’ age at the time of the crime, 16-years-old, and to “give heavy favor to [Williams’] future.” 

Before announcing his decision, Judge Okun gave condolences to the Hardy family and stated, “Nothing I can do today can bring him back.”

Judge Okun sentenced Williams to 30-years in prison for first-degree murder while armed, with a consecutive sentence of 5-years for conspiracy. In addition, he received two concurrent sentences of five-years for the possession and carrying charges, which will run consecutively to the conspiracy and murder charges.  Total incarceration time–35 years.

Judge Okun chose not to impose the mandatory minimum sentence; therefore, Williams can get time off for good behavior. However, he reminded the court that “Youth is not an excuse” and the seriousness of these offenses cannot be overstated. 

The defense requested Judge Okun submit a recommendation for a correctional facility that has the opportunity for Williams to complete college classes. Before Williams was escorted out of the courtroom, Judge Okun encouraged him to continue his studies and remain optimistic. 

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