News and Press Releases

Monday, October 17, 2011

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Man Convicted of Stabbing Longtime Acquaintance in the Neck,
Then Obstructing Justice to Cover Up His Act
- Defendant Was Upset that Victim Wouldn’t Loan Him Money -

     WASHINGTON - Michael G. Tanner, 36, has been convicted of stabbing another man in the neck last year in Northeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

     Tanner, of Washington, D.C., was convicted by a jury on October 13, 2011 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia of several assault charges, including aggravated assault while armed and of carrying a dangerous weapon. The jury also convicted Tanner of obstructing justice for attempting to convince witnesses to say that other men were responsible for the attack. The verdicts followed a week-long trial before the Honorable Thomas J. Motley. Sentencing has been scheduled for December 15, 2011.

     The government’s evidence proved that on the late afternoon of January 28, 2010, Tanner ran into the victim at a liquor store near the intersection of 15th and D Streets NE. The victim and Tanner had known one another for approximately 15 years. Both men visited that neighborhood regularly because their families lived in the area.

     The two men left the store and began to argue. The victim later told police that Tanner was upset because he did not loan Tanner money when Tanner asked a few days earlier. As they walked down the 1400 block of Duncan Street, NE the defendant turned around and stabbed the victim in the neck with a knife. The wound was deep, nearly touching the victim’s vertebrae, and landing only a centimeter from the victim’s carotid artery. The victim immediately sought help from several Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers who were nearby. First District Officer Sean Mackenzie inserted his finger in the stab wound and applied pressure to stop the bleeding until medical personnel arrived.

     Although the victim was initially reluctant to identify Tanner as his attacker, he eventually gave a full statement to police. Over the months that followed the assault, Tanner made several efforts to contact the victim. Tanner wanted him to recant his earlier statements to the police and to say that two other men were responsible for the attack.

     In announcing the verdicts, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the investigative work of the many people from MPD who worked on this case, including First District Detectives Garry Johnson, Robert Saunders, James Freeman, Joseph Oh, Don Juan Monroe, and Dennis Myles; Officers Sean Mackenzie, Lawrence Mopkins, Jeffrey Scharf, Andre Sturgis, Jody Shegan, Vicki Steen, Patrick Loftus, and Salome Wilson, and Technician Sylvester Ninotchka.

     He also praised the efforts of those in the U.S. Attorney’s Office who worked on the case including Jeanie Latimore-Brown and Joshua Ellen who provided technical support for the trial. Mr. Machen also thanked paralegal Tameka Garcia for preparing this case for trial. He also commended criminal investigators Melissa Matthews, Shannon Alexis and Lawrence Grasso for their investigative support during the course of this case and at trial. Lastly, he praised Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Saler, who investigated the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily C. Scruggs, who investigated and prosecuted the matter at trial.



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