Judge Sentences Individual to 12 years in Jail for Four Homicides in the 1990s

On May 19, DC Superior Court Judge Anthony Epstein sentenced a man who committed four murders in the 1990s to 12 years in jail – not enough to satisfy many grieving family members.

Carl Pinkney, also known as Michael Green, 52, was charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping for his involvement in the murders of 29-year-old Curtis Pixley, 26-year-old Keith Simmons, and 23-year-old Samantha Gilliard. The incident took place on April 23, 1991, on the 1800 block of Franklin Street, NE. According to court documents, the incident occurred after a drug deal went wrong. 

Pinkney was also charged with first-degree murder for his involvement in the fatal stabbing of 40-year-old Gregory Scott Young that occurred on July 17, 1999, at the intersection of 4th Street and Evarts Street, NE. 

Both sets of killings had gone unsolved, until 2015 and 2016, when Pinkney decided to go to the Metropolitan Police Department’s (MPD) Homicide Branch and tell them of his involvement in assisting Benito Valdez, 52, to commit the murders. 

According to prosecutors, the cases came down to a plea deal which was offered by prosecutors, that would lower the three first-degree murder charges for the killings that occurred in 1991 to voluntary manslaughter charges and would dismiss the kidnapping charges. 

For Young’s murder, the charge would be lessened to second-degree murder, and sentences for both cases would run concurrently. Prosecutors also requested the sentences be at the bottom of the sentencing guidelines, stating that, without Pinkney’s cooperation, these four murders would have gone unsolved. 

Victims’ family members gave impact statements, including Young’s only child, who stated that she continues to think of her father every day, 23 years after his death. 

“He had a heart of gold,” she said, and argued that Pinkney took advantage of her father’s weak moments as a drug addict to try to rob and kill him. 

“Because of you, I have to hear my father referred to as the decedent… My father had a name that I’ll cherish forever, and it’s Gregory Scott Young,” she scolded Pinkney. 

Several others gave statements mentioning their siblings’ murders caused their parents to die a slow and painful death due to their grieving. 

“He not only took my [sibling], he also cut my [parents’] life short,” they said.

All of the victims’ family members pleaded with the judge to give Pinkney the harshest sentence possible, arguing that he was reckless and a danger to society. 

Gemma Stevens, defense attorney for Pinkney, stated that she heard everything the family members had to say, and that Pinkney has taken full responsibility for his actions. 

“He wishes he could undo what he did, but he is unable to,” she said, arguing he feels remorse, shame and pain for his actions. 

“He is a different person from 1991 and 1999,” she insisted. 

Pinkney said he had been a victim of these crimes himself, as he was hanging around the wrong individuals who pulled him in to do things he wasn’t supposed to do. 

“I’m truly sorry for my reckless acts. I accept full responsibility for my actions,” he said. 

He said he has utilized his time in the jail to mentor young people who are facing similar charges and urge them to become better and build a support system. 

“Today I stand before you asking for forgiveness, mercy, and kindness,” he told the victims’ family members. 

Exasperated, many of them screamed out various phrases insinuating he was a liar. 

Judge Epstein stated that, although the crimes he had committed were heinous, he was only in his 20s at the time and had complied during his incarceration. 

Judge Epstein argued that Pinkney has shown remorse and taken full responsibility for his actions. 

Pinkney was sentenced to 36 years, suspending all but 12, for every charge. He is required to be on probation for 5 years after he is released, and if he violates probation or gets caught committing other crimes, the 24 years that were suspended from his sentence would be reimposed. 

He is also required to receive mental health assessments and treatment as necessary, must acquire a job, be on GPS monitoring, and register as a gun offender once he is released. 

The seven years he has been incarcerated will count towards the 12 he is required to serve, so he is expected to be incarcerated for 5 more years. 

Family members of victims stormed out of the courtroom following the sentencing, which they believed was too lenient. 

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