Two District Men Plead Guilty To Robbery In Daytime Attack In Southeast Washington-Defendants Arrested Soon After Crime, With Victim’s Cash And Property-
WASHINGTON - Venlonte Bethea, Jr., 19, also known as James Williams, and Anthony Hardy, 24, pled guilty today to robbery charges stemming from a mid-afternoon attack on a man last summer in Southeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Bethea and Hardy, both of Washington, D.C., entered the guilty pleas in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Honorable Lynn Leibovitz scheduled sentencing for April 12, 2013. The charge carries up to 15 years in prison. Judge Leibovitz ordered that both defendants be held without bond pending their sentencing.
According to the government’s evidence, on July 17, 2012, at about 1:40 p.m., the victim was walking near the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and G Street SE, adjacent to the Potomac Avenue Metro station and bus stop. Bethea and Hardy approached him, asking for change. Bethea then circled behind the victim and put him in a chokehold, while Hardy went through the victim's pockets and took all of his money, phone, and various other identification cards. In all, both men took $576 in cash, including three $2 bills, a debit card, an insurance card, and an identification card. Then they ran into the Potomac Avenue Metro station.
The victim chased both defendants to the L'Enfant Plaza Metro Station, and used another Metro passenger’s phone to call the police. In his call to the police, the victim provided detailed descriptions of his attackers. The Metro Transit Police stopped both defendants inside the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station. They matched the descriptions provided by the victim.
The victim subsequently identified both defendants as having robbed him. In a search following the arrests, police found $290 on Bethea; Hardy had the rest of the money, including the $2 bills, as well as the victim's debit and identification cards.
In announcing today’s plea, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of the Metro Transit Police. He also acknowledged the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney John C. Truong, who investigated and prosecuted the case.