‘Today Marks the First Day of the Rest of Your Life,’ Judge Tells Shooting Defendant as She Terminates His Probation 

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DC Superior Court Judge Rainey Brandt terminated a shooting defendant’s probation following his “progression with some bumps on the road,” during a July 9 hearing. 

Markeis Crandall, 20, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault knowingly while armed and possession of a firearm during a crime of violence in 2022 for his involvement in a non-fatal shooting that left two individuals injured. The incident took place on the 2200 block of Minnesota Avenue, SE, on Nov. 26, 2021.

Crandall received a suspended sentence of five years with two years of probation.

He was originally charged with two counts of assault with intent to kill while armed, two counts of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, and carrying a pistol without a license.

During Crandall’s term of probation, he was detained at the DC Jail for multiple violations and repeatedly admitted into court-ordered residential substance abuse treatment programs.

At the hearing, a representative from the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA) alerted Judge Brandt that Crandall had been a victim of a shooting. According to the representative, Crandall endured an injury to his leg, which has required and will continue to need multiple surgeries, including an upcoming skin graft. 

The representative deemed probation “no longer accommodating” to Crandall and his family, stating he has shown improvement. “I want him to have a chance,” the representative said, adding “He’s thinking of big life decisions right now,” following his shooting. 

She requested Judge Brandt terminate the probation with the Youth Rehabilitation Act (YRA) sentencing, which will seal his conviction. 

The prosecution did not oppose the request, stating they defer to the court on the decision based on his record of improvement. Sellano Simmons, Crandall’s defense attorney, agreed with CSOSA.

“I’ve spent the last two years trying to save you from a drug addiction,” Judge Brandt told Crandall, congratulating him on his progress. 

“We have to do better,” she proclaimed, arguing that shootings have become a societal issue. 

However, she stated, his shooting gave him an “up close and personal vantage point of what the victim in [this] case felt.” 

“Today marks your first day of the rest of your life,” Judge Brandt told Crandall, as she terminated his probation under the YRA. 

No further dates were set. 

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