For the second time in his life, Charles Link is going to jail again for stabbing somebody. The first time it was after he argued with a man about the minor transgression of moving trash. This time he’s headed up the river for taking a blade to man who allegedly owed him $20—and didn’t pay him.
Link, 53, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced Jan. 3 to nine years in prison on an Oct. 2013 conviction for assault with a deadly weapon for stabbing a man who he said owed him $20, according to a statement from the office of U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr.
Link was found guilty by a jury following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He was sentenced by Judge Russell F. Canan. After completing his prison term, he will be placed on three years of supervised release.
According to evidence presented at the trial, the victim and Link were close friends who played chess and socialized together. The victim even helped Link at his job at a local funeral home. Sometimes Link would lend the victim small amounts of money.
In fall 2012, the men disagreed over the repayment of a $20 loan. The victim had given Link his food assistance card and had told Link to use it to buy $40 of food, to cover the $20 debt. When Link never used the card and failed to return it, the victim cancelled the card so that he could get a new one and access his food benefits, the statement said.
On the evening of Nov. 13, 2012, as the victim was walking near his home, he encountered Link and the two argued over the debt. When the victim reached the entrance to an alley off the 500 block of Newton Place NW, he was pushed from behind by an unidentified man and fell to the ground. Link joined in the attack and kicked and punched the victim, telling him, “Get me my money!”
Link, according to evidence, then stabbed the victim five times before fleeing with the unidentified man, leaving the victim bleeding in an alley.
In sentencing the defendant, Canan noted that Link was convicted in 1993 of second-degree murder while armed after he colluded with another person to stab a man to death in an alley over a petty disagreement over moving trash. Link received 15 years for that crime.