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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Volunteer Firefighter Sentenced To Three-Year Prison Term

For Armed Robbery of Ex-Girlfriend
-Defendant and Four Others Used Two Shotguns and Masks During the Robbery-

     WASHINGTON – Jayson Lassiter, 23, a volunteer firefighter from Clinton, Md., has been sentenced to a three-year prison term for an armed robbery he committed earlier this year in Northeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced today.

     Lassiter pled guilty in June 2013 in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia to armed robbery.  He was sentenced on Aug. 26, 2013, by the Honorable Michael Ryan.  Upon completion of his prison term, Lassiter will be placed on five years of supervised release.

     According to the government’s factual proffer at the plea hearing, during the afternoon of March 26, 2013, Lassiter drove three other volunteer firefighters, all from the Prince George’s County Fire Department, to the 1300 block of Michigan Avenue NE, where his ex-girlfriend was staying. They went there to retrieve a cellular phone Lassiter had given his ex-girlfriend for Christmas. After a brief verbal altercation, they left the area without obtaining the cellular phone.  The group then returned to Prince George’s County to assist fighting a fire. 

     Afterwards, Lassiter and two of the three volunteer firefighters he was with that afternoon decided to return to the 1300 block of Michigan Avenue NE to retrieve the cellular phone.  Lassiter picked up two additional accomplices - family members of one of the volunteer firefighters. Then, under cover of night, they returned armed with two shotguns and masks. 

     As they approached the home where Lassiter’s ex-girlfriend was staying, Lassiter let the four accomplices out in an alley and proceeded to the home alone to draw the ex-girlfriend and others outside.  As soon as the victims came out of the house, Lassiter’s masked and armed accomplices began assaulting them.  One of Lassiter’s accomplices, Kevin Smith, 19, of Suitland, Md., pointed a shotgun at Lassiter’s ex-girlfriend and another male and ordered them into the home.  Once inside the home, Smith stole their cellular phones and hit the male in the face with the butt of the shotgun, breaking his nose.

     Lassiter and the four accomplices fled the scene in Lassiter’s car.  Three of the suspects were immediately identified by the victims.  A fourth was later identified through additional investigation.  To date, all four identified suspects have pled guilty to charges arising from this incident.  Lassiter was the first to be sentenced. 

     In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work performed by those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department.  He also praised those who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Advocate Maria Shumar and Paralegal Specialist Jason Manuel.  Finally, he commended the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff T. Cook, who investigated and prosecuted the matter.

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Updated February 19, 2015