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Justice News

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

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Jury Convicts Man Of Second-Degree Murder While Armed In 2010 Killing Of Acquaintance-Defendant Chased And Stabbed Victim After Argument At Gas Station-

     WASHINGTON – Richard Williams, 43, was found guilty by a jury today of second-degree murder while armed in the slaying of an acquaintance along the border of the District of Columbia and Prince George’s County, Md., U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

     Williams, who has no fixed address, was found guilty following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. In addition to the murder charge, the jury found him guilty of one count of carrying a dangerous weapon after having been convicted a felony, and two counts of committing offenses while on release in a pending criminal case. The Honorable Robert E. Morin scheduled sentencing for Jan. 31, 2014. Williams faces up to 70 years in prison for the murder count alone, and up to 30 years for each of the other three charges.

     According to the government’s evidence, 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 the District of Columbia. On Aug. 27, 2010, at about 11:30 p.m., they got into an argument and shoving match at the gas station, for reasons that remain unclear. 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, however, proceeded to run after Mr. West.  Upon catching up to him, he stabbed Mr. West once in the chest.  Mr. West ran back across the street, into Oxon Hill, and collapsed inside a liquor store.  He died about two hours later.

     Williams fled the scene on foot and was arrested on Oct. 18, 2010.  At the time of the murder, the defendant, a previously convicted felon, had a pending misdemeanor case for which he had been released on bond.  He has been held without bond since his October 2010 arrest.

     In announcing the verdict, U.S. Attorney Machen expressed appreciation for the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. He also commended those who worked on the case from the Prince George’s County, Md., Police Department and the District of Columbia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Litigation Technology Specialist Josh Ellen, Paralegal Specialist Sandra Lane, Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Liebman, who prosecuted the matter.


Updated February 19, 2015