Murder Trial Cancelled After Defendant Pleads Guilty

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A homicide defendant accepted a plea deal on the day his murder trial was set to begin.

Keith Toney pleaded guilty to shooting 45-year-old Melton Grant on the 600 block of Morton Street, NW on June 22, 2019. According to court documents, prior to the shooting, Toney and Grant were with others on the street corner playing a dice game when an argument ensued. Grant punched Toney which led to Toney pulling out a firearm and shooting Grant.

According to the prosecutor’s proffer of facts, Grant was found on the sidewalk bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds.

One of the bullets hit a bystander.

The 45-year-old defendant was initially charged with first-degree murder while armed, unlawful possession of a firearm, assault with intent to kill while armed, and two counts of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence.

Toney pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and possession of a firearm on Jan. 23.

Defense attorney Pierce Suen and the prosecutor agreed to recommend a six-year prison sentence.

DC Superior Court Judge Anthony Epstein accepted the plea offer and scheduled Toney to be sentenced on April 14.

“This doesn’t happen very often,” he said.

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