Maryland Man Sentenced To 24 ½-Year Prison Term For Two Attacks, Including A Beating That Led To Serious Injuries-Crimes Took Place Within About Three Hours Last Summer-
WASHINGTON – Tommy T. Branch, 22, of Fort Washington, Md., was sentenced today to 24 ½ years in prison for a pair of attacks last summer, including one in which a man was severely beaten with a baseball bat, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Branch was found guilty by a jury on May 1, 2013, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, of charges of conspiracy, aggravated assault while armed, armed robbery, assault with intent to rob, and attempted credit card fraud. Upon completion of his prison term, Branch will be placed on 11 years of supervised release.
At today’s sentencing, the Honorable Robert I. Richter said that “nothing can undo the violence that Mr. Branch chose to unleash on that night last year,” adding that the defendant’s actions “showed a coldness of heart that all the remorse in the world cannot erase.”
According to the government’s evidence, Branch and two accomplices – Sunny B. Kuti and Michael Moore - decided on Aug. 17, 2012 to commit a robbery together. They drove to the Adams Morgan area of Northwest Washington in Branch’s car. When they could not identify a suitable target, they drove to Capitol Hill and parked down an alley next to Eastern Market.
Shortly after midnight, early in the morning of Aug. 18, 2012, the three men saw the victim, Thomas “T.C.” Maslin. Mr. Maslin was walking home and at the edge of a park near Independence and North Carolina Avenues SE. During the ensuing robbery, Mr. Maslin raised his hands and said that all he had was a phone and bank card. As the robbery continued, Kuti struck Mr. Maslin in the side of the head with a BB gun, temporarily stunning him. Moore pushed Mr. Maslin, and Branch struck him in the side of the head with a baseball bat.
Branch and his accomplices took Mr. Maslin’s iPhone, bank card, and keys. They then drove to a gas station in the 1200 block of Pennsylvania Avenue SE, a few blocks away from the robbery scene. Branch tried to use Mr. Maslin’s bank card to buy gasoline, but the card was refused because he did not know the cardholder’s zip code.
Following this attack, Branch, Kuti, and Moore drove to the Barry Farm area of Southeast Washington where they met a fourth man, Darrin L. Beal. They then set off for the Adams Morgan area to commit a second robbery. At about 3:20 a.m., while Beal remained in the car, Branch, Moore, and Kuti, while armed with a non-functioning BB gun that resembled a real handgun, targeted three victims in an alley off of the 1800 block of 18th Street NW, violently assaulting one victim and taking a cellphone, wallet, and set of keys from another.
Mr. Maslin was found, unconscious, by police at about 8:15 a.m. on Aug. 18, 2012, on the front porch of a rowhouse in the 700 block of North Carolina Avenue SE. He had a massive fracture to his skull and bleeding throughout the brain cavity due to the blow from the bat.
Moore, 19, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty to charges for his role in the crimes and is awaiting sentencing. Kuti, 18, of Washington, D.C., and Beal, 25, of Washington, D.C., are awaiting trial. Both have pled not guilty to charges.
“Throughout this process, our prosecutors have been overwhelmed by the number of citizens who have come forward to show support for T.C. Maslin and his young family,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “That outpouring of support demonstrates the power of our community to come together and rise above the most brutal acts of violence. I hope that today's sentence will allow Mr. Maslin, his family, and the entire Capitol Hill community -- as well as the other two victims of this defendant's attacks -- to continue the healing process.”
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of those who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). He also praised the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas P. Swanton of the First District Prosecution team.