A 26-year-old man lost his court battle against numerous D.C. criminal charges, including aggravated assault with intent to kill, assault with a dangerous weapon, aggravated assault while armed and possession of a firearm during a crime of violence.
Our D.C. criminal defense attorneys know that his recent conviction could result in a sentence of several decades behind bars, despite the fact that all three men who were shot survived the alleged attack.
His sentence won't be handed down until summer.
Prosecutors contend that in the summer of 2010, the defendant had arranged the purchase of a large quantity of marijuana. He met three men in a parking lot on 8th Street NW. One man handed over the drugs. An argument reportedly followed, and the suspect in turn allegedly fired at all three at point-blank range, prosecutors said.
All recovered, though two were seriously injured. Officers who were working a detail at a nearby nightclub heard the gunshots and responded.
While cases like this might seem somewhat straightforward, they can actually be quite problematic for prosecutors.
For one thing, none of the three men who were there that evening really knew the man they were meeting. They knew him only by a street name. They had a phone number, but that only led police to a prepaid cell phone.
Detectives ended up showing a series of mug shots to the alleged victims in a photo line-up, and two of the three ended up identifying the suspect. It's worth noting that just last month, a local task force created by the DC. Superior Court chief judge recommended that Metro police alter the way they conduct lineups of suspects. In the future, lineups are to be conducted with computers - not staff associated with a particular case. The idea is to prevent potential influencing of the witness, has been known to happen routinely in previous cases.
This particular line-up was conducted before that directive was handed down.
When a client of ours is facing charges as serious as these, we work to analyze the case from all aspects - from the most minute detail of fact as to how the incident unfolded, down to even the most obscure legal technicalities.
There are two ways prosecutors can prove aggravated assault, as described in D.C. Criminal Code 22-404.01. The first is to show that the defendant either knowingly or purposely caused serious bodily injury to another person. The other is to show that amid circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life, you knowingly or intentionally engaged in conduct or an action that created a grave risk of bodily injury to another person and through this action, you did indeed cause serious bodily injury. For someone to have suffered the legal definition of serious bodily injury requires that the person was at risk of death, or suffered unconsciousness, a great deal of physical pain, disfigurement or loss or impairment of a body part or organ.
This is a felony charge, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and/or a $10,000 fine.
Assault with a deadly weapon, as spelled out in D.C. Criminal Code 22-402, is similar, except it doesn't require that the person have suffered any serious injury and it does require that you carried out the act with a deadly weapon, such as a firearm. A conviction on this charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.