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Friday, December 16, 2011

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District Man Convicted of Second-Degree Murder While Armed And Other Charges in 2010 Slaying of Teenager
- Victim Was an Intern for D.C. Council Member -

WASHINGTON - Omare Cotton, 29, of Washington, D.C., was convicted by a jury today of second-degree murder while armed and related firearms charges in the killing of a teenager who once worked as an intern for a District of Columbia Council member, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

Cotton also was convicted of charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, threats, and destruction of property. The verdict followed a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Honorable Gerald I. Fisher scheduled sentencing for March 23, 2012. Cotton faces a sentence of up to 40 years in prison on the murder charge.

According to the government’s evidence, Cotton got into an argument on May 7, 2010 with the victim, Alonte Sutton, 18, over the victim’s refusal to give the defendant’s girlfriend a ride to work. The argument, which took place in the 200 block of Newcomb Street SE, where the defendant resided, escalated when Cotton slashed the tires on the victim’s car and chased him with a knife. The trouble only ended for the night when the victim flagged down a passing police car. The defendant, who was on parole at the time, fled from the police.

When the victim returned the next morning with his girlfriend to change the tires on his vehicle, Cotton resumed the confrontation. At one point, Cotton threatened and chased the victim’s girlfriend with a tire iron. After she fled in her vehicle, Cotton also left to retrieve a handgun.

Upon his return minutes later, Cotton shot at the victim once and then chased him into the woods located adjacent to that street. Then, as the victim cowered in fear, Cotton proceeded to shoot him five times. There were no witnesses to the murder of the teenager, who had once worked as an intern for Council member Michael A. Brown.

Because of the hidden location of the murder, and the lack of eyewitnesses, the victim’s body was not discovered until the following day, Mother’s Day. The defendant left no fingerprints or DNA. The murder was only solved through the outstanding investigative work of Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

In announcing the verdict, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the efforts of those who worked on the case from the MPD, including Detectives John Bolden, Michael Fulton, Douglas Carlson, Paul Regan, Sean Caine, Anthony Paci; Officers Fred Knight, Robert Barillaro and Charlie Jones, and Technicians Natasha Pettus, Dwayne Mitchell, E.A. Hampton, Eric Coker, and Charles Egan. Mr. Machen also thanked Investigator Durand Odom of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Investigation Unit and Firearms Examiner Robert Freese. He also praised the efforts of Victim Advocate Marcia L. Rinker and Tamara Ince, and Paralegal Sandra Lane, and Litigation Technology specialist Leif Hickling. Finally, he thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Magdalena Acevedo and Michael T. Truscott, who investigated and tried the case.





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