News and Press Releases

Friday, October 7, 2011

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Man Sentenced to More Than 82 Years in Prison For Shooting
Two People at School, Carjacking Vehicles, and Shooting at Police
- School’s President Was Shot in the Face -

     WASHINGTON - Wesley R. Johnson Jr., 30, was sentenced today to a prison term of 82 years and three months for carrying out a brazen mid-day shooting in April 2008 at a vocational training school in Northeast Washington in which two people were wounded, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

     Johnson, of Fort Washington, Md., was convicted in May 2011 by a jury in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia of a total of 32 charges, including assault with intent to kill while armed, carjacking while armed, and assault on a police officer while armed. The verdicts followed a trial that lasted nearly four weeks before the Honorable Ann O’Regan Keary. Judge Keary sentenced Johnson this morning.

     The government’s evidence proved that on April 29, 2008, at about 1:50 p.m., Johnson walked into the Excel Institute, a vo-tech school that he attended, located in the 2800 block of V Street NE. He was armed with a Tech-9 machine gun and a sawed-off shotgun.

     Johnson shot the school’s president in the face with the Tech-9 and also attempted to shoot one of his instructors, at point blank-range, in the chest, but the Tech-9 jammed. As Johnson was fleeing the school, he pointed his firearms at two other people—one of whom was pregnant.

     By the time he got out of the school, Johnson had rendered the Tech-9 operable again. He used it to shoot a woman who was standing in front of the school, hitting her in the chest.

     He then fled to a nearby bank, where he carjacked two people sitting in a Ford Focus in the bank parking lot. Shortly after the carjacking, three Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers spotted Johnson driving the Focus. They followed the Focus, and Johnson eventually pulled over to the side of the road. After waiting for the three officers to exit their car, Johnson fired his shotgun at them and sped off. He ultimately abandoned the Focus and carjacked two more individuals who were sitting inside of a Ford Taurus. Shortly after this carjacking, Johnson collided with one of the officers who was pursuing him.

     Johnson pled that he was not guilty by reason of insanity.

     In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the exceptional investigative work of the many people from MPD who worked on the case, including Detectives Wanda Harris, Randal Parker, Yvette Maupin, Carla Talley, Michael Johnson, Douglas Reynolds, Wayne Gerrish, and Christopher Smith; Officers Ronald Paugh, Corey Shaw, Jordan Katz, Paris White, Chad Leo, Christoper Ritchie, Adrian Harris, Norman Kenny, Tina Ramadhan, Grant Greenwalt, Mocte’Ma Stevens, and Nathaniel Covington; Sergeant James Boteler, and Lieutenant Vendette Parker.

     He also praised the efforts of those in the U.S. Attorney’s Office who worked on the case, including Leif Hickling, Thomas R. Royal, Joshua Ellen, Joseph Calvarese, and Paul Howell, who provided technical support for the trial. Mr. Machen also thanked Paralegals Kalisha Johnson-Clark, Antoinette Sakamsa, Carolyn Cody, Margaret McCabe, Michelle Chambers, and Jim Mazzitelli for preparing this case for trial and assisting the trial team. He also commended criminal investigators Durand Odom, Melissa Matthews, John Marsh, Shannon Alexis, and William Hamann, as well as La June Thames of the Victim Witness Assistance Unit and Victim Witness Advocate Jennifer Clark. Lastly, he praised Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith A. Becker, who investigated the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew M. Graves and Emily C. Scruggs, who investigated and prosecuted the matter at trial.




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