Maryland Man Sentenced To Five Years In Prison For Obstruction Of Justice-Defendant Threatened Witness In Confrontation On Street; Witness Was Murdered Weeks Later-
WASHINGTON – Antoine Mayhand, 28, of Capitol Heights, Md., was sentenced today to five years in prison for obstructing justice by confronting a witness in a criminal case that was pending at the time against his brother, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Mayhand was found guilty in September 2013 following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He was sentenced by the Honorable Stuart G. Nash. Upon completion of his prison term, Mayhand will be placed on three years of supervised release.
At trial, the government’s evidence established that on Dec. 11, 2012, Christopher Ballard reported to the police that two men had tried to steal his car and then, when he resisted, shot at him. Mr. Ballard informed the police that he knew one of the assailants as “Unc.” Detectives with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) conducted an investigation, and Mr. Ballard identified a man named Delonte Smith as “Unc.”
As a result, on Jan. 30, 2013, Smith was arrested, charged with armed carjacking, and ordered held without bond pending trial. Smith and Mayhand are brothers. They grew up in and frequented the Benning Park area of Southeast Washington, which is where Mr. Ballard lived.
On May 28, 2013, at about 7:15 a.m., Mayhand encountered Mr. Ballard on Benning Road SE. Mayhand said, “I should put a knife on you and stab you!” Mr. Ballard called 911 and reported the threat while he walked up Benning Road to the Sixth District police station. During the following 17 minutes, Mr. Ballard stayed on the line with the dispatcher and Mayhand followed Mr. Ballard down the street. Moments before the police arrived on scene, Mayhand charged at Mr. Ballard as if he was going to assault him. When the police officers stopped Mayhand, and asked him what was going on, he responded, “Man, I don’t have time to f--- with that snitch!” He also told police that Mr. Ballard “got my brother locked up over some bull---.”
The criminal case against Mayhand stemmed from the May 28, 2013 confrontation. Mayhand has been in custody since his arrest that day.
On July 8, 2013, less than 48 hours before he was scheduled to testify in the trial against Delonte Smith, Mr. Ballard, 38, was murdered in Southeast Washington. Smith, 20, was nonetheless convicted of conspiracy to commit a crime of violence, two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, and multiple related firearms offenses. He is awaiting sentencing.
The murder of Mr. Ballard is under investigation and no arrests have been made.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen recognized the outstanding efforts of the detectives and officers from the Metropolitan Police Department who investigated the case. He also acknowledged the efforts of Supervisory Paralegal Specialist Anthony Griffith as well as Paralegal Specialists Antoinette Sakamsa and Theresa Nelson. Finally, he commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Lallas, who prosecuted the case.