FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 24, 2012
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Two District Men Sentenced on Charges
Stemming From 2010 Murder in Southeast Washington
- Defendants Believed Victim Had Turned on Their Crew -
WASHINGTON - Darnell Hawkins, 30, and Marvin Verter, 32, both of Washington, D.C., were sentenced today for various crimes related to a May 2010 murder of a former associate that took place in Southeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Hawkins and Verter were found guilty of charges in June 2012, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Both men appeared today before the Honorable Ronna L. Beck, who presided at the trial. Hawkins was sentenced to 47 years of incarceration on charges of first-degree murder while armed, obstruction, and related weapons charges. Verter was sentenced to a 12-year prison term on charges of acting as an accessory after the fact to murder, tampering with evidence, and obstruction of justice.
According to the government’s evidence at trial, both defendants and the victim – Dawan Felder, 29 - were part of a crew of individuals known as the “Getting Money Soldiers” or “GMS.” This crew sold drugs out of a home in the 5000 block of D Street SE. When drugs packaged by Mr. Felder came up short, Hawkins, Verter, and other members of their crew suspected that he was engaging in theft. Based on their belief that Mr. Felder had turned on the crew, Hawkins and Verter discussed killing him.
In the early morning hours of May 16, 2010, Hawkins and Verter traveled to the 5000 block of D Street SE, where they found Mr. Felder. During a casual conversation with the unsuspecting victim, Hawkins produced a gun and repeatedly shot him. Mr. Felder died on the scene from his injuries, which included four gunshot wounds to the face, one to the neck, two to the shoulder, and one to the thigh. Verter then assisted Hawkins in his escape by providing Hawkins with a change of clothing and ordering a woman to drive Hawkins away.
While Hawkins was convicted of first-degree murder while armed and related weapons offenses, Verter was convicted as an accessory after the fact to murder and was also convicted of tampering with physical evidence. In addition, both defendants were convicted of various acts of obstruction, including convincing witnesses to lie to the grand jury and threatening the life of a government witness.
In announcing the verdict, U.S. Attorney Machen extended his appreciation to the detectives and officers who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department. He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker; Witness Security Specialists Shawn Slade and David Foster; Paralegal Specialists Sandra Lane and Alesha Yette, and Litigation Technology Specialists Leif Hickling, William Henderson, and Paul Howell, who assisted with trial preparation, and Intelligence Specialist Lawrence Grasso. Finally, he praised the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Vinét Bryant, who indicted the case and prosecuted the case at trial.