Murder Defendant Takes Plea Deal For Stabbing Victim 

On Oct 18. a murder defendant pleaded guilty to manslaughter. 

Juan Kibler,28, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter while armed and aggravated assault. He was initially charged with second-degree murder while armed for stabbing 40-year-old Joseph Harris on the 2300 block of Green Street, SE on May 7, 2018.

During a status conference, Kibler took a plea deal. According to the terms of the deal, Kibler could serve six years in prison for voluntary manslaughter and 7.5 years in prison for aggravated assault. 

According to DC’s volutary sentencing guidelines, the sentencing range for a second-degree murder while armed conviction is 12-24 years in prison if the defendant has a criminal history score from 0-0.5. Aggravated Assault carries a sentence range from 1.5 to 5 years in prison. 

D.C. Witness data show that Kibler has a prior simple assault conviction.

According to a proffer of facts, the prosecutor said that if the case had gone to trial he would have proved that Kibler, who was angry on the night of the murder, walked into an apartment building and stabbed Harris multiple times in the back and shoulder.

After Kibler was arrested he was sent to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, DC’s psychiatric hospital, for a mental competency screening on June 12. The prosecutor also said Kibler got into an altercation with an employee, knocking him unconscious.  

Kibler’s defense attorney, Joseph Wong, requested that DC Superior Court Judge Ronna Lee Beck push back the sentencing so Kibler could see his family in DC before going to prison.

Judge Beck agreed and set Kibler’s sentencing on April 3. 



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