Month In Review: October

There were 12 homicides in October 2017 and nine cases were resolved.
Here is our monthly wrap-up of cases covered in October.

Of the 12 homicides, ten of them were shootings, one was a stabbing, and one was a murder by asphyxiation.

Five arrests have been made in the October murders, and two arrests were made from previous homicides.

Half of the murders were in Southeast, four of them were in Northeast, and two of them were in Northwest.

The first homicide victim, Carl Hardy, was found shot on Sept. 10 in the 1200 block of I Street, SE. The 24-year-old was transported to a hospital where he died from his injuries on Oct. 1. After releasing Surveillance footage showing several people and a vehicle of interest, police arrested 16-year-old Saquan Williams on Oct. 26. He is being charged as an adult with first-degree-murder while armed and is awaiting his preliminary hearing. Quincy Garvin, 32, has also been arrested for the murder and is being charged with first-degree-murder while armed. He is being held without bail.

One week later, Norman James was discovered with multiple gun wounds inside a vehicle in the 5100 block of H street, SE. Police found the 30-year-old at 2:34am and pronounced him dead at the scene. No suspect information has yet been released for his homicide.

A little more than an hour later, Omar Earl Rogers was also found in a vehicle in the 1300 block of Good Hope Road, SE. The 25-year-old was transported to a hospital and pronounced dead, after all lifesaving efforts failed. Both Michael Leonard Jones, 21, and Khalil Davis, 22, have been arrested and charged for his murder. They are expected in court on Nov. 22 for their preliminary hearing.

Renard Marsh, 25, and 22-year-old Sefjuan Jones were killed in a triple shooting that left two two people dead and one person with non-life threatening injuries. On Oct. 10, police responded to reports of a shooting in the 6200 block of 8th Street, NW, and found Marsh, Jones, and one other person with gunshot wounds. The three of them were transported to the local hospital, where Marsh and Jones were pronounced dead. No suspect information has yet to been released for the two homicides.

That same night, Arthur Thompkins was found fatally shot in the 5400 block of Hunt Place, NE. Police are still investigating his homicide and no suspect information has been released.

On Oct. 12, Donnell Lewis Byrd was found with gunshot wounds in the 200 block of 54th Street, NE. In the early hours of that Thursday morning, the 30-year-old was found by police and pronounced dead at the scene. No suspect information has been released.

Another homicide occurred six days later, when Kevin Kareem Cross was found fatally stabbed. At approximately 11:15 pm on Oct. 18, the 44-year-old was pronounced dead with fatal stab wounds. Suspect information has also not been released for his murder.

Police are also still investigating the fatal shooting of Shawntese Murphy, of Suitland, MD. The 20-year-old was found dead upon arrival in the 1600 block of U Street, SE along with an adult male who received treatment for non-life threatening injuries.

Another homicide that is being investigated with no suspect information released is the murder of Andre Ricardo Harris. Harris was found fatally shot in the 1900 block of Savannah Terrace, SE on Oct. 22. At the scene, another person was found nearby and treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Five days later, officers found Ernest Edward Baylor, Jr. in the 2200 block of Hunter Place, SE. The 22-year-old was found with gunshot wounds and taken to a local hospital for treatment. He was pronounced dead after all life-saving efforts failed. Police are still investigating his murder and no suspect information has been released.

The final murder that occurred in October was the murder of 53-year-old Mawuli Kocuvie. At 10:04 p.m. on Oct. 28, Kocuvie was found dead inside of residence in the 1700 block of Benning Road, NE. An autopsy conducted the next day determined the cause of death as asphyxiation. Samuel Davis has been arrested for his murder. He is being charged for first-degree-murder and is awaiting presentment.

Giovanti Moschino Young was arrested on Oct. 27 and charged with first-degree-murder while armed for allegedly murdering Andre Jahmal Johnson in July. That same day, Stephon Marquis Williams was also arrested and charged with second-degree-murder while armed for the 2016 killing of Jamar Morris. They are both awaiting their preliminary hearings.

Several noteworthy events occurred in court in October. Eleven cases were resolved, and seven of them were resolved with a guilty plea. One suspect was found not guilty, and two suspects were found guilty by trial.

On Oct. 6, Ameesha Gray, Tayvon Felton, Wade Wilson, and Jose Rodriguez-Cruz were sentenced. All four had plead guilty and waived their right to a trial.

Ameesha Gray, Tayvon Felton, and Wade Wilson were all charged with the murder of Cortez Clark in 2015. Gray had originally been charged with felony murder, but pled guilty to conspiracy to commit a crime of violence in January 2017. On Oct. 13, 2015, Gray was involved in the three-man-murder of Cortez Clark. Clark had met Gray on a dating website called “Tagged”and was planning to meet her on a date when he was robbed, beaten, and stabbed to death in an apartment complex in Congress Heights.

Originally, John Allen was the only one charged with the murder. However a police investigation found that the incident had been planned by several other people. Wilson, Felton, and Allen had been using Gray’s profile to lure him in, and she was their lookout during the incident. On Oct. 6, she was sentenced to two years in prison with three years of supervised release for her part in his death.

Wilson was arrested and charged in May 2016 and was held without bail until his sentencing. He originally was charged with felony murder, but pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter while armed. On Oct. 6, he was sentenced to approximately nine years in prison with five years of supervised released.

Alongside Wilson, Tayvon Felton was also sentenced 14 years in prison with five years of supervised release. According to police, Felton and Gray drove away together in Clark’s car after he was murdered, and Felton had used Gray’s profile along with Allen. Felton originally denied his part in the murder, but eventually pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter in January 2017. Felton apologized to Clark’s family before he was given his sentence.

After Pamela Butler went missing in 2009, Jose Rodriguez-Cruz pled guilty to her murder and was sentenced on October 6. Butler’s family and police investigated her disappearance for year and although they suspected Rodriguez-Cruz was a suspect at the time, the case was hampered by a lack of a body and other evidence. Butler was pronounced legally dead in July 2016. He was originally charged with first-degree premeditated murder, but his charge was changed to second-degree murder as part of his plea deal. The agreement also states that Rodriguez-Cruz must give the location of her body. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison followed by 5 years of supervised release.

Four days later, Brandon Franklin was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Franklin was charged with the murder of Marvin Stewart in 2015. After undergoing mental evaluation, Franklin was released and sent to St. Elizabeth’s hospital to undergo mental treatment. Though he was found not guilty, he would have to stay at St. Elizabeth’s until doctors deemed him no longer mentally ill or a danger to himself. Judge Lopez emphasized that this meant Franklin may have to stay there longer than his maximum sentence had he pleaded guilty.

On Oct. 13, Seth Sinquan Holmes was sentenced for the murder of Damonta Thompson in May. According to the government, Holmes and Thompson had gotten into a fight at the grocery store when Holmes fatally shot him. He pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in August and Judge Leibovitz sentenced him to 13 years in prison with 5 years of supervised release.

Another four days passed, and Mark Beasley was sentenced for murdering Darryn Conte at a nightclub in April 2015. According to the prosecutor’s narrative during his sentencing, Beasley had shot Conte to death after they had gotten into an argument in a nightclub. Conte had almost hid Beasley’s friend with his elbow while dancing. After their argument, Beasley approached Conte and his brother in the car and shot Conte nine times. Beasley was found guilty by trial for second-degree murder while armed in July, and was sentenced on Oct. 13. He was sentenced by Judge Lopez to 30 years in prison followed by five years of supervision.

Thomasine Bennett cried at her sentencing three days later for murdering Walter Clark earlier this year. Clark had been found by police in Bennett’s closet after she beat him repeatedly with a baseball bat. He was pronounced dead by trauma after being transported to a nearby hospital. Bennett was originally charged with first-degree murder, but she accepted a plea deal in July for voluntary manslaughter. Judge Lopez sentenced her to 10 years in prison followed by five years of supervision as offered by her plea agreement.

On Oct. 27, Eugene Burns was sentenced after being found guilty by trial for the murder of his best friend, Onyekachi Osuchukwu III. According to government evidence, Burns was arrested in 2015 after a government cell phone expert examined his phone and found searched including “How to kill your best friend” and “Does God forgive murderers.” He was found guilty in July for first-degree-murder while armed and was sentenced to 31 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release.

The same day, William Charlie Bowman was also sentenced for murdering James Dorsey in 2016. Bowman was charged with second-degree murder while armed and pleaded guilty for that charge in August. Judge Zoe Bush sentenced him to 20 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release.

On Oct. 30, Jeffrey Neal was sentenced for the double murder of his roommates in 2014. On June 13, 2014, Neal was arrested and charged with first-degree murder while armed for the murder of Leon Young. Young was found dead in the attic of the house with a bag tied around his head. Four days later, officers found Delano Wingfield buried in the backyard of the same house. Neal said he killed Young in an act of self-defense after Young allegedly said that he killed Wingfield. Neal was found guilty in July 2017 for two counts of first-degree murder while armed and was sentenced to 60 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release.

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