FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 6, 2012
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District Man Sentenced to 88 Years in Prison
In June 2010 Killing of Man During Robbery
- Defendant Shot Victim Multiple Times in Attack in Northeast Washington -
WASHINGTON - Leon Truesdale, 38, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 88 years in prison on 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.
Truesdale was convicted by a jury in February 2012, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He was sentenced by the Honorable William M. Jackson.
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, at about 1 p.m., 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, Corey Hilton, 29, of Washington, D.C., earlier pled guilty to a charge of second-degree murder while armed. He is to be sentenced July 20, 2012.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the detectives, patrol officers, mobile crime scene officers and firearms examiner who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), as well as 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.