FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 17, 2012
For Information Contact:
District Man Convicted of First-Degree Premeditated Murder
While Armed For Killing Man During Robbery
- Defendant Shot Victim Multiple Times in June 2010 Attack in Northeast Washington -
WASHINGTON - Leon Truesdale, 38, of Washington, D.C., has been convicted by a jury of first-degree felony murder while armed, armed robbery, assault with intent to kill while armed, and related charges stemming from a 2010 slaying in Northeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced today.
Truesdale was convicted on February 15, 2012, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He is to be sentenced April 20, 2012 by the Honorable William M. Jackson. Truesdale faces a minimum of 35 years in prison for the crimes.
According to the government’s evidence, Truesdale and an accomplice arranged for a local marijuana dealer to sell them one pound of marijuana for between $1,250 and $1,300. Instead of paying for these drugs with money, the evidence at trial showed that, on June 17, 2010, Truesdale pulled out a gun and demanded the drugs from the dealer, Calvin Godsey, while they were in an entryway of an apartment building in the 2100 block of Third Street NE. Truesdale then fired multiple shots at him. Thereafter, Truesdale’s accomplice pulled out his own gun, firing a single downward shot in the process that went through his own leg and into his foot, and then he fired multiple additional rounds at Mr. Godsey.
Truesdale then pointed his gun at an eyewitness present during the murder, and fired a single shot. That witness slumped to the floor and pretended to be dead in order to avoid being further injured. Truesdale and his accomplice grabbed the bag of marijuana and ran from the scene to a waiting getaway car. The remaining witness fled the scene immediately thereafter, although he reported what had happened to police within 24 hours of the murder.
Mr. Godsey, 38, was found minutes later by two of his stepdaughters who called 911 and attempted to perform CPR on him. They were unsuccessful, and Mr. Godsey was dead by the time police and paramedics arrived on the scene.
A second man earlier pled guilty to a charge of second-degree murder while armed and is awaiting sentencing.
In announcing the verdict, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the work of those who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), including Detectives Thomas Braxton, Brian Wise, Hosam Nasr, Konstantinos Giannakoulias, Jed Worrell, Lee Littlejohn, and Kenniss Weeks; Lieutenant Ozetta Posey; Officers Stephen Bias and Venson Wytch; Mobile Crime Technicians Eric Coker, Brenda Floyd, Shannon Gill, James Holder, John Holder, Kevin Jeter, Tina Ramadhan, and Keith Slaughter; Firearms Examiner Michael Mulderig, and Dr. Carolyn Revercomb of the D.C. Medical Examiner’s Office.
U.S. Attorney Machen also commended the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Criminal Investigator Durand Odom; Litigation Technology Specialists Thomas “Ron” Royal and Joe Calvarese, Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker and Security Specialist Michael Hailey of the Victim Witness Assistance Unit, and Paralegals Alesha Matthews, Sharon Newman, Kalisha Johnson-Clark, Donville Drummond and Beth Meyer. Finally, he expressed his appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jocelyn Ballantine and Emily Scruggs, who prosecuted the case