Johnnie Sweet, 19, of the District, may spend the rest of his life in prison after a jury found him guilty on April 30 in the first-degree felony murder of Latisha Frazier. The D.C. girl was 18 when she was kidnapped and murdered in August 2010.
Sweet was charged with first-degree premeditated murder with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping and tampering with physical evidence. He faces a mandatory minimum of 30 years and a maximum of 60 years in prison, according to a news release from the office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of
Columbia Ronald Machen.
Frazier vanished on Aug. 2, 2010. Over the course of five months, her family diligently sought to find her, passing out fliers and reaching out to local news outlets to publicize her disappearance. In late January 2011, a witness came forward and revealed Frazier¹s whereabouts to authorities. Evidence revealed that Sweet was one of the leaders in a group of six young men and women who took part in Frazier¹s murder. The group, who Frazier believed to be her friends, ranged in age from 16 to 23. On the day of the teen¹s disappearance, the group had suspected that Frazier had stolen about $900 from Sweet. Shortly thereafter, Sweet hatched a plan of revenge by calling her over to an apartment where they claimed to be having a social gathering.
When Frazier arrived at the apartment, in the 1700 block of Trenton Place S.E., the group took her to a small room where they brutally punched, kicked and stomped her. After ignoring her pleas to stop, the group then bound her in duct tape and taped a pillowcase over her head so she could not scream.
They shoved her into a dark closet. When she screamed and moaned, one of the assailants put her in a sleeper hold until she passed out. The group later discovered that she had died, the statement said.
The members of the group attempted to dismember her body before throwing it into a dumpster. Now, it is believed to be somewhere in one or two landfills in rural Virginia.
According to the press release: of the seven people charged, six former co-defendants have pled guilty. They include Brian Gaither, 25, who was sentenced earlier this month to a 32-year prison term after pleading guilty to first degree murder; Laurence Kamal Hassan, 24, who pled guilty to second-degree murder and kidnapping; Cinthya Proctor, 21, who pled guilty to second-degree murder, kidnapping and conspiracy to commit evidence tampering; Anneka Nelson, 18, who pled guilty to second-degree murder and kidnapping; Lanee Bell, 19, who pled guilty to kidnapping, and Antoine McCullough, 27, who pled guilty to conspiracy to commit evidence tampering. Except for Gaither, the other defendants are awaiting sentencing.
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