District of Columbia

Jury Convicts Man of Second-Degree Murder While Armed in 2010 Slaying of Acquaintance
Defendant Chased and Stabbed Victim after Argument at Gas Station

Richard Williams, 43, was found guilty by a jury Dec. 4 of second-degree murder while armed in the slaying of an acquaintance at the District/Prince George’s County border, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr.

Williams, who apparently has no fixed address, was also convicted of carrying a dangerous weapon after having been convicted of a felony, and two counts of committing offenses while on release in a pending criminal case. He faces up to 70 years in prison on the murder and up to 30 years for each of the other charges when he is sentenced on Jan. 31, 2014.

According to evidence in the case, Williams and the victim, Sean West, 37, knew each other and often spent time together at a gas station in Oxon Hill, Md., just over the border from D.C. On Aug. 27, 2010, at about 11:30 p.m., they got into an argument and shoving match at the gas station. A mutual acquaintance broke up the fight, and Mr. West walked across the street into the 4300 block of Wheeler Road SE, headed home.

Williams followed and when he caught up to West, stabbed him once in the chest. West ran back across the border into Oxon Hill and collapsed inside a liquor store. He died two hours later.

Williams, who fled the scene on foot, was arrested on Oct. 18, 2010. At the time of the murder, he was a convicted felon on bond for a misdemeanor case.

Former Physician Gets 20 Years for Sexually Exploiting Minors in Kenya

A former medical doctor was sentenced Dec. 4 to 20 years in prison for engaging in illicit sexual conduct with minors in Kenya, according to a statement released jointly by Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., and Assistant Director in Charge Valerie Parlave of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

John D. Ott, 68, pled guilty in May 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place. Upon completion of his prison term, Ott will be placed on supervised release for the rest of his life and will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

According to evidence in the case, Ott was a former medical doctor who worked for non-governmental organizations and hospitals in Kenya. Court records show that Ott also started an orphanage in Kenya. Ott admitted that between approximately January 2004 and September 2012, he engaged in illicit sexual conduct in Muhuru Bay, Sori and Kendu Bay, Kenya, with at least 14 minors, who ranged in age from approximately 9 to 17 years old when the illicit sexual conduct began. Ott admitted that he frequently paid for schooling and provided other financial support, including housing, for minors with whom he engaged in illicit conduct.

Ott has been in federal custody since he was arrested in December 2012, following his deportation from Tanzania.

U.S. investigators and prosecutors were assisted by personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection National Targeting Center, the statement said.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of sexual exploitation and abuse of children, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Three Area Men Sentenced to Prison for Committing Multiple Violent Robberies in Adams Morgan and Near Metro Stations

Three men from the Washington D.C. area—Anthony J. Doggett, 21, Desean Floyd, 19, and Dominique C. Jones, 20—were sentenced to prison Dec. 3 for multiple robberies and other crimes, accordant to a statement released by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr.

The men pleaded guilty to conspiracy, robbery, and other charges in September. Doggett was sentenced to a total of 13 years in prison. Floyd was sentenced to eight years of incarceration, and Jones was sentenced to a seven-year prison term. Upon completion of their prison terms, the men will be placed on five years of supervised release.

Doggett, Floyd and Jones admitted actively participating in a group that committed crimes in the Adams Morgan, L’Enfant Plaza, and the Stadium-Armory areas. Since Jan. 1, the group’s members canvassed the areas looking for victims and teamed up to rob them of expensive smart phones and other items. The defendants sold stolen phones for a profit, on the street or to an Eco-ATM machine, and split the proceeds.

Doggett, of Suitland, pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy, robbery, attempted robbery, accessory after the fact to armed robbery, unauthorized use of a vehicle, and contempt. Floyd, of Oxon Hill, pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy, robbery, attempted robbery, accessory after the fact to armed robbery and attempted perjury. Jones, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty to one count each of conspiracy, robbery, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, and attempted robbery.

As part of their plea agreements, the defendants admitted participating in other crimes:

-Jan. 20, 1400 Block of Pennsylvania Avenue SE—Jones admitted to taking part in the robbery of a woman. As the victim was about to get into her car, Jones and another individual approached and demanded her purse and car key. The culprits fled with some of her property. They returned a week later and used the stolen keys to take her car. Jones pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and Doggett pled guilty to unauthorized use of a vehicle for their roles in these crimes.

-Feb. 3, 1300 Block of Q Street NW—Doggett and Floyd admitted to taking part in the robbery of a man as he walked down the street. The defendants approached the victim, beat him about the head and body and stole his iPhone and wallet before fleeing. Doggett sold the stolen iPhone to an Eco-ATM machine at the Pentagon City Mall and received $300 for the phone. The defendants split the proceeds from the sale of the stolen phone. Doggett and Floyd each pleaded guilty to robbery for their roles in this crime.

-Feb. 5, 2013: 19th Street and Constitution Avenue NE—Doggett, Floyd, and Jones admitted to taking part in crimes related to the armed robberies of multiple victims at gunpoint. Jones and another individual went to the location about 8 p.m. with a gun and looked for victims. They chose a young couple walking down the street, then ordered them to get on their knees and robbed them of their property. A third victim walking down the street happened into the robbery and had his property stolen as well. Jones and the other individual went to a nearby abandoned house, where they met Doggett and Floyd. Jones told Doggett and Floyd that they had just committed an armed robbery. Doggett and Floyd helped the robbers to “wipe” the stolen phones, or clear the personal settings on the phones and put the phones back to factory settings. Doggett and Floyd also served as look-outs to see whether the police were following them. Jones pled guilty to robbery and possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, and Doggett and Floyd each pled guilty to accessory after the fact to armed robbery for their roles in these crimes.

-Feb. 10, 2013: L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station—Doggett and Floyd admitted to taking part in an early-morning robbery at the Metro station, located at 600 Maryland Avenue SW. The men saw the victim, who was on the platform waiting for the train and looking at his iPhone, which he held in his hand. One of the culprits snatched the phone out of the victim’s hands, while others intentionally got in his way. When the victim attempted to follow them, a third individual began to punch him. Doggett later sold the victim’s stolen iPhone to an Eco-ATM machine at the Pentagon City Mall and received $300 for the phone. Doggett, Floyd and the third individual split the proceeds from the sale. Doggett and Floyd pled guilty to attempted robbery for their role in this crime.

-Feb. 10, 2013: Contempt of Court—Doggett was under court order to observe a 24-hour home confinement on Feb. 10, 2013. On that same date, he intentionally left his home to commit the robbery at the L’Enfant Plaza Metro, and then traveled to Virginia to sell the stolen phone to an Eco-ATM machine. Doggett pled guilty to contempt of court for his role in this crime.

-March 14, 2013: Perjury—Floyd testified falsely before a grand jury of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia on March 14, 2013 after taking an oath to tell the truth. He then lied during his testimony, including denying that he knew about certain crimes in which he was involved or knew the perpetrators. Floyd pled guilty to attempted perjury for this crime.

District Man Found Guilty of Manslaughter in Stabbing Death of Fellow Marine

Michael Poth, 22, of the District Washington D.C., was found guilty by a jury Dec. 2 of manslaughter while armed in the fatal stabbing of a fellow U.S. Marine Corps enlistee, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced in a statement.

Poth is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 7, 2014. The charge carries a statutory maximum of 60 years in prison.

According to evidence, Poth and the victim, Philip Bushong, 24, were active duty U.S. Marine Corps enlistees. At the time of the incident, the defendant was a private first class and was assigned to the Marine Barracks Washington, while the victim, a lance corporal, was a few days away from receiving an honorable discharge and was in the District of Columbia visiting friends. The men did not know one another. In the early morning hours of April 21, 2012, both were in the area near the 700 block of Eighth Street SE, near the Marine Barracks.

Poth walked by Lance Cpl. Bushong, who was with a group of friends. Shortly after he passed by the group, Bushong yelled something at Poth, who took offense at the statement. Poth then took out a small pocket knife, waved it in the air toward Bushong and his friends and muttered that he was going to “cut someone’s (expletive) lungs out.”

Poth left but returned and approached the group and Bushong, uttered an anti-gay slur, and then walked away. Bushong followed him and the two argued. As Bushong drew back his fist to punch Poth, Poth stated, “I’m going to stab you,” drew his knife and stabbed Bushong once in chest. Bushong died about two hours later.

“Today a District of Columbia jury held Michael Poth accountable for stabbing a fellow Marine to death on a public street near their barracks,” Machen said in the statement. “Their guilty verdict makes clear that our community will not tolerate the deadly violence that so often arises from petty disputes. We hope that this decision brings some measure of comfort to the family and friends of the young Marine killed that night.”

District Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison on Federal Narcotics Charges
Defendant Fled Area after Pleading Guilty to Crimes in 2009

Deandre Kelly, 31, formerly of Washington, D.C., has been sentenced to 15 years in prison on federal narcotics charges, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and other announced in a statement on Nov. 27.

Kelly pled guilty in July 2009 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to charges in two separate cases: conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute PCP in one and possession with intent to distribute cocaine base in another. While awaiting sentencing and other hearings, Kelly absconded. A warrant was issued for his arrest in September 2009 after he failed to appear for court.

Kelly was arrested on Jan. 22, 2011 in Garrett County, Md., after leading police on a high-speed car chase that ended with he was trapped in a snow embankment. Law enforcement officers found marijuana and a loaded firearm in the car. The next evening, however, he escaped from the Garrett County Detention Center assisted by associates waiting for him in the parking lot.

The U.S. Marshals Service arrested Kelly on May 13, 2011 in Lynchburg, Va.

The 15-year sentence, imposed Nov. 14, 2013, includes penalties for the earlier drug offenses, involving crimes in the District of Columbia and Maryland. One case involved a search of Kelly’s residence in February 2009 that led to the recovery of PCP, a revolver and ammunition. As part of his plea, Kelly admitted to possessing the narcotics, firearm and ammunition, and to conspiring with others to distribute PCP. The second case, transferred to the District of Columbia from Maryland, involved the recovery of crack cocaine from Kelly’s vehicle following a traffic stop in Prince George’s County in July 2008.

Kelly has three previous convictions involving narcotics, as well as a conviction for conspiracy to commit robbery.

The AFRO Crime Blotter is an occasional summary of crime and punishment in the DMV and Baltimore