Defendant Expected to Serve 6.25 Years After Pleading Guilty to Manslaughter

More than two years after Jamal Bandy was fatally shot in Congress Heights, the defendant charged in his death took a plea deal that includes an agreement between parties to recommend a six-and-a-quarter-year prison sentence.

On the evening of July 21, 2019, Metropolitan Police Department officers found Brandy on the 1300 block of Congress Street, SE, suffering from gunshot wounds to his chest, abdomen, wrist and shoulder. He had broken bones and road rash as well, according to court documents. Brandy was pronounced dead later that night. He was 27-years-old.

Five months later, 31-year-old Romiel Hightower was arrested and charged with first-degree murder while armed. During a Feb. 24 hearing, defense attorney Jason Tulley informed DC Superior Court Judge Milton Lee that after reviewing the prosecution’s offer for some time, his client has chosen to accept it.

Hightower pleaded down to a charge of voluntary manslaughter while armed. The other charge in the indictment of possessing a firearm during a crime of violence was dismissed.

Judge Lee scheduled Hightower to be sentenced on May 20.