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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

Monday, February 4, 2013

District Man Pleads Guilty To Burglary And Assault Charges In Break-In Of Elderly Woman’s Home-Defendant Punched Victim, Knocking Her Unconscious-

     WASHINGTON - Tyran Mcelrath, 18, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to charges stemming from an attack he carried out against an elderly woman during a burglary last fall of the victim’s home in Northwest Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

     Mcelrath pled guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to one count of first-degree burglary and one count of aggravated assault. He is to be sentenced May 7, 2013 by the Honorable Patricia A. Broderick. He faces a statutory maximum of 30 years in prison for the burglary offense and an additional 10 years for aggravated assault. Under the Court’s voluntary sentencing guidelines, he faces a likely range of up to eight years for burglary and up to 5 ½ years for the assault.

     According to the government’s proffer of evidence, with which Mcelrath agreed, Mcelrath left his home on the morning of Nov. 7, 2012, and traveled to the 3500 block of McKinley Street NW, where the victim, an 81-year-old woman, resided.  Mcelrath, who did not know the victim, went to the house intending to steal property, and broke into the home through a basement window.  At the time, the victim was on the second floor of the house. 

     Mcelrath took some tools from the basement and made his way up to the main floor of the house, where he rifled through cabinets and took change from the victim’s change purse.  Mcelrath then carried an Apple computer outside and hid it in bushes located at the base of the front porch steps. The victim then came downstairs and interrupted Mcelrath. 

     She walked toward the front door and politely asked Mcelrath to leave. Mcelrath then punched her repeatedly in the face with closed fists until she lost consciousness.  Mcelrath then fled before police were called.

     A civilian witness who came upon the woman sometime after the assault called police.  Police found the victim disoriented and suffering from multiple bruises and broken teeth as a result of the beating.  Police were able to identify Mcelrath as the perpetrator when they searched GPS records, which showed Mcelrath inside the victim’s home between 11:41 a.m. and 12:21 p.m., when the crimes occurred.  Police used that same GPS information to locate Mcelrath in Southeast Washington the following day, and found that he matched the limited description that the victim was able to provide, and was wearing a mask that was the same as the one the victim had described.  Police subsequently obtained surveillance video from Metro that showed Mcelrath as he traveled to and from the crime scene.

     In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the work of the Metropolitan Police Department officers and detectives who investigated the case.  He also commended the efforts of Victim Witness Program Specialist Jennifer Clark, for her work with the victim in this case, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ann Carroll and Jonathan Kravis, who investigated and indicted the case.


Updated February 19, 2015