FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 20, 2012
For Information Contact:
District Teenager Sentenced to 14-Year Prison Term
In Killing of Another Teenager
- Slaying Took Place Last October Near Recreation Center -
WASHINGTON - Derek Johnson, 17, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 14 years of incarceration on a charge of second degree murder while armed in the slaying of another teenager near a recreation center, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Johnson, who was charged as an adult, pled guilty in November 2011 and was sentenced by the Honorable Lynn Leibovitz in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Upon completion of his prison term, Johnson will be placed on five years of supervised release.
According to the government’s proffer of facts, Johnson and the victim, 17-year-old Jamar Freeman, were friends. However, Johnson believed in September or October 2011 that Freeman had broken into his house and stolen personal items from him.
On October 8, 2011, at about 7:30 p.m., Johnson rode his bicycle to the Raymond Recreation Center in Northwest Washington, where he encountered Freeman. Johnson at the time was armed with a knife. Freeman did not have a weapon and Johnson had no reason to be afraid of him. Johnson punched Freeman in the face or neck area, and the two began fighting by throwing punches and wrestling. During a lull in the fighting, during which time the two verbally taunted each other, Johnson removed from his clothing the knife, and Freeman began running away, toward the baseball diamond located in the park.
Johnson swung the knife and buried it in Freeman’s chest. Freeman ran away down an alley, near the 900 block of Quincy Street NW, where he collapsed. He subsequently died that evening from a four-to-five-inch stab wound in his chest.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of the Metropolitan Police Department’s (MPD) Violent Crimes Branch. He especially cited the efforts of MPD Detectives James Wilson, Gus Giannakoulias, Joshua Branson, Norma Horne, Gabriel Truby, Anthony Greene, and Sgt. Andrew Finkelman. U.S. Attorney Machen also praised the work of paralegal Fern Rhedrick of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Lastly, Mr. Machen thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Pearlman, who investigated and prosecuted the case.