Judge Sentences Murder Defendant to 12 Years

A DC Superior Court judge sentenced a murder defendant to 12 years in prison. 

Back in August, 26-year-old Devin Smith pleaded guilty to second-degree murder while armed in the shooting of 28-year-old Michael Cunningham on Nov. 29, 2019, on the 3000 block of 30th Street, SE. One bystander sustained non-life-threatening injuries during the shooting. 

The plea deal Smith took includes an agreement between parties that a 12-year prison sentence would be appropriate for this case.

During the Oct. 29 hearing, the prosecutor pointed out that the defendant committed a daytime shooting in a residential area that also caused injuries to a civilian who was unrelated to the incident. He also said there was no evidence of self-defense.

Defense attorney Roderick Thompson said his client comes from a loving family, has a background in education and athletics and worked regularly in food service. Through numerous conversations with Smith, he noted that the defendant “is an extremely bright man.” He said he is confident Smith will become a good member of society.

Judge Danya Dayson took Smith’s minimal criminal history, steady employment history and background in education into account.  Still, she made it clear that this is a serious crime, emphasizing that it resulted in a loss of life. 

Smith’s 12-year sentence will be followed by five years of supervised release. He will receive credit for time served.

Terell Blackman, 27, is also charged with first-degree murder while armed in connection with Cunningham’s death. His case is currently awaiting indictment.

Hae Lim Park wrote this article.