FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 27, 2012
For Information Contact:
District Man Sentenced to More Than 17 Years in Prison
In Attack of Unarmed Store Security Officer
- Defendant Beat and Stabbed the Victim Several Times -
WASHINGTON - DeVino Harding, 52, was sentenced today to 17 years and six months in prison on charges stemming from an attack on an unarmed security officer who was working at a Northeast Washington drug store, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Harding, of Washington, D.C., was convicted November 8, 2011, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, of charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with significant bodily injury, possession of a prohibited weapon, threats, and destruction of property. He was sentenced by the Honorable Anthony C. Epstein.
According to the government’s evidence, on December 19, 2010, at approximately 6 p.m., the victim was working as an unarmed loss prevention officer at a Rite-Aid store in the 800 block of H Street NE. The victim saw a couple of young men enter the store wearing ski masks and asked them to remove their masks.
Harding, who was in the store, accused the officer of harassing the men. The officer asked Harding to stop shouting. Then, when Harding threatened him, the officer asked him to leave. Once outside, Harding swung a stick at the officer, who was standing in the doorway. Harding missed the officer, but he struck the store’s glass front door, causing the glass to shatter and his stick to break. Harding then pulled out a knife and stabbed the officer in the abdomen.
The officer attempted to flee, but Harding caught him and stabbed him in the leg. The officer was able to grab a portion of the broken stick and used it to defend himself. He struck Harding in the mouth with the stick, and again tried to flee. Once again Harding caught up to him, however. The officer fell, and Harding got on top of him and stabbed him two more times, in the back. Harding left the scene shortly before police began arriving.
Two witnesses flagged down police, and took officers to a nearby home where they had seen Harding flee. Officers went to that house, and Harding came to the door. The officers found a large knife inside Harding’s pocket.
In announcing the verdicts, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of the Metropolitan Police Department officers who investigated the case, including Detectives Robbie Saunders and Thomas Smith. U.S. Attorney Machen also recognized the work of those who handled the case at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Tracy Van Atta of the Litigation Technology Unit and Paralegal Specialist Tamaya Reid. Finally, he expressed his appreciation to Assistant U.S. Attorney Trevor McFadden, who investigated and prosecuted the case.