Plea Offer Under Consideration in Manslaughter Case

A man charged for his alleged role in a fatal stabbing that his counsel has described as self-defense received a plea offer from the prosecution.

On April 10, 2020, police found 33-year-old Cornell Mason laying on the living room floor of a residence on the 4000 block of Clay Place, NE, suffering from a stab wound to the neck. The following day, Mason succumbed to his injuries and Phillip Humphrey was arrested. Since then, the 46-year-old defendant has received a plea offer.

Defense attorney Ronald Resetarits has argued that Humphrey stabbed Mason in self-defense. His client was initially charged with second-degree murder while armed, but DC Superior Court Judge Neal Kravitz ruled that the case only has enough evidence to go to trial on the charge of voluntary manslaughter while armed during a preliminary hearing.

When parties in this case met on Feb. 3, the prosecutor said that if Humphrey pleads guilty to voluntary manslaughter, she will seek a sentence of two to 10 years in accordance with sentencing guidelines. She also will not seek an indictment on any greater charges.

The offer is under consideration but Resetarits first asked to receive more discovery evidence from the prosecution so the defense can access it as they consider what decision to make.

Resetarits also asked Judge Maribeth Raffinan to take his client off GPS monitoring. He said this request was denied a year ago but Humphrey has remained compliant with his pretrial release conditions since then. Still, the prosecutor said compliance should not mean his supervision becomes less strict. 

Judge Raffinan denied the request for now but told Resetarits to file a written motion.  

Parties are slated to reconvene for a felony status conference on April 22.