FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 14, 2012
For Information Contact:
Two District Men Sentenced to Decades in Prison
For 2011 Slaying of Passenger on Metrobus
- Security Video on the Bus Recorded the Shooting -
WASHINGTON – Delron Atchison, 24, was sentenced today to 30 years in prison and Vincent Gray, 22, was sentenced to a 21-year prison term on charges stemming from the slaying of a passenger last year on a Metrobus, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Atchison and Gray, both of Washington, D.C., pled guilty in October 2012 to charges of second-degree murder while armed. Atchison also pled guilty to three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, due to the fact that three other passengers were seated near the victim, Demetrius Thompson, at the time of the Oct. 20, 2011 shooting.
The defendants were sentenced in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia by the Honorable Thomas J. Motley.
According to the court papers and the defendants’ own statements during the plea hearing, Atchison and Gray had a fight with Mr. Thompson, 22, on the night of Oct. 19, 2011, in the area of the Congress Heights Metro station. Afterward, the defendants armed themselves.
About 45 minutes later, just after midnight, they saw a bus approaching in the 2100 block of Alabama Avenue SE and thought that Mr. Thompson might be on it. When the bus stopped, Gray got on board and pointed out Mr. Thompson to Atchison. Atchison then boarded the crowded bus, drew a 9-millimeter handgun, and walked directly toward Mr. Thompson, who rose from his seat. Atchison fired at Mr. Thompson two times, striking him with both shots. As the shots were fired, the numerous other passengers and the bus driver fled from the bus. Mr. Thompson crawled off the bus, and collapsed in front of it. He died shortly afterward.
Atchison and Gray, meanwhile, fled from the bus.
Security video on the Metrobus recorded the entire incident. Atchison and Gray were arrested at a hotel in the Orlando, Fla. area five days after the shooting and have been in custody since that time.
“These killers executed a defenseless passenger on a Metrobus in front of a terrified driver and other passengers,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “We owe a deep debt of gratitude to those who tracked these fleeing murderers to Florida and brought them back to D.C. to face justice. Today's lengthy prison sentences are a reflection of our community's outrage at this monstrous display of violence.”
In announcing the sentences, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the efforts of the Metropolitan Police Department, the Metro Transit Police Department, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Orange County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office. He also acknowledged the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Liebman and Scott Sroka, who prosecuted the case.12-449