Judge Sentences Homicide Defendant to 11 Years

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DC Superior Court Judge Maribeth Raffinan sentenced a homicide defendant to 11 years in prison. 

On July 21, 2021, Rondez Tibbs entered a convenience store on 2200 block of Martin Luther King Avenue, SE, according to court documents. He approached 27-year-old Malcolm Johnson and attempted to take a cross body bag from him which led to a struggle between the men. Surveillance video shows Johnson fighting off Tibbs, 27, and, in the midst of the fight, Johnson’s handgun went off. Both individuals in the fight were shot. Johnson left the scene, but was later found unconscious in a car. An autopsy confirmed that his cause of death was a gunshot wound to the stomach. 

During the sentencing on Oct. 7, defense attorney Pierce Suen requested that Tibbs receive the lowest sentence possible of 9.5 years in prison. He said he believes Tibbs is not a threat to the community due to his current medical state. “He is more likely to be the victim than the perpetrator,” Suen said. 

Tibbs pleaded guilty to second-degree murder while armed on June 23. The terms of this plea deal included a sentencing recommendation of 9.5 years to 14 years in prison. 

“No matter how sorry you are, it would  never bring Malcolm back. You deserve life in prison and everything that comes to you. Karma will have its way with you,” Johnson’s sister said. 

Tibbs was on probation for robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm with a prior conviction. The prosecution told the Judge Raffinan that Tibbs had numerous interactions with the criminal justice system. 

“It was never my intent to hurt your son or cause bodily harm. I thought I had it under control,” Tibbs said.  He then asked the family for forgiveness. 

In addition to his 11 year sentence, Tibbs must also register as a gun offender for 2 years once released. 

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