Sentencing Postponed After Defendants Refuse to Get off Van

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DC Superior Court Judge Maribeth Raffinan postponed the sentencing of two murder co-defendants who refused to get off the van. The defendants were convicted of killing 17-year-old Jamahri Sydnor days before she was slated to begin her freshman year at Florida A&M University.

James Mayfield, 27, was convicted of 11 charges in 2022, including first-degree murder while armed as a drive-by or random shooting, assault with the intent to kill while armed, and aggravated assault with grave risk while armed with the victim being especially vulnerable due to age, mental or physical infirmity, among other charges. His co-defendant, Robert Moses, 27, was also convicted of the same charges plus two counts of obstruction of justice. All of Moses’ charges included the enhancement of being committed during release.  

Moses and Mayfield who claimed illness and, according to marshals, were “refusing to get out of the van.”

The sentencing was initially delayed by an hour. 

During a victim impact statement, Sydnor’s mother began to speak about the emotional toll her daughter’s death had taken on her. However, she was interrupted by Mayfield saying, “I didn’t do anything to your daughter.”

According to news reports, Sydnor was shot at the intersection of Montana and Saratoga Avenues, NE on Aug. 10, 2017, . The incident left 3 other individuals injured. One of the injured victims was Sydnor’s 12-year-old cousin. Sydnor was originally taken to the hospital in critical condition and died in the hospital two days later.

Judge Raffinan threatened to eject Mayfield from the courtroom if he continued to interrupt the proceeding. 

Out of fear they’d be rushing the victim impact statements, the prosecution asked to move sentencing to a later date. Judge Raffinan agreed.

Parties are set to reconvene on Sept 6. 

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