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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 21, 2013

District Man Pleads Guilty To Charges In 2012 Killing Of His Cousin-Victim Died Of Head Injuries Suffered In Attack-

     WASHINGTON – Arvel Wills, 24, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty on Oct. 10, 2013 to charges stemming from the killing of his cousin, Dwayne Wills, last year in Northeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

     Wills pled guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to involuntary manslaughter and a firearms offense. The Honorable Ronna L. Beck scheduled sentencing for Dec. 18, 2013.

     According to the government’s evidence, on May 26, 2012, at about 4 a.m., Wills and his cousin, Dwayne Wills, 25, engaged in a verbal dispute that turned into a physical altercation at Abbey Place and L Street NE. They had been drinking alcohol at the time of the incident.  

     Dwayne Wills took two punches at the defendant. Arvel Wills picked up his cousin by his neck and leg, held him over his head, and then forcefully slammed his head into a concrete street, causing a skull fracture. Dwayne Wills was unconscious, but was revived and taken to Washington Hospital Center, where he claimed that he had fallen and hurt himself. He lapsed into a coma. On June 4, 2012, he died as a result of head injuries suffered on May 26, 2012.

     The District of Columbia medical examiner=s office ruled the case a homicide. The evidence indicates that the cause of death was blunt impact trauma to the head.

     Wills was arrested on Sept. 27, 2012.  At the time of his arrest, he possessed a 9 mm Ruger, which had an extended magazine clip with 13 rounds of ammunition and was capable of holding 50 rounds.  He has been in custody ever since.

     In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Machen expressed appreciation to the detectives, officers and others who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. He also thanked the U.S. Marshals Service for its assistance on the case. He acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Criminal Investigators Stephen Cohen, Tommy Miller, Melissa Matthews, Durand Odom, Nelson Rhone, Juan Juarez, Matt Kutz, and interns Ian Irlander and Brian Edgerton; Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker, and Paralegal Specialist Kelley Blakeney. Finally, he commended Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia G. Wright who prosecuted the case.

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Updated February 19, 2015