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Friday, June 1, 2012

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District Man Sentenced to 44 Years in Prison
In 2007 Slaying in Northeast Washington
- Victim Was Shot Six Times in Early-Morning Confrontation -

     WASHINGTON - Curtis L. McKnight, 23, was sentenced today to a 44-year prison term on murder and other charges in the 2007 slaying of a man in Northeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

     McKnight and Robert H. Pumphrey, Jr., 24, both of Washington, D.C., were found guilty by a jury in March 2012 following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. McKnight was convicted of first-degree murder while armed, obstruction of justice, and weapons charges. Pumphrey was convicted of second-degree murder while armed and weapons charges.

     The Honorable William M. Jackson sentenced McKnight today. Pumphrey is awaiting sentencing, on a date to be determined.

     According to the government’s evidence, on October 9, 2007, at approximately 2:20 a.m., the victim, Raynard Jennings, 33, was seated in the driver’s seat of a Cadillac parked in the 500 block of 56th Street NE. At some point, McKnight and Pumphrey entered the block and parked behind the Cadillac. McKnight approached Mr. Jennings, who was still seated in the Cadillac, and an argument ensued. McKnight then walked back to Pumphrey’s car.

     Mr. Jennings exited the Cadillac, opened the trunk, and began throwing items out of the trunk for an unknown reason. McKnight and Pumphrey ordered Mr. Jennings to stop going through the trunk. While Mr. Jennings was near the trunk, Pumphrey reached into the passenger side of his vehicle, retrieved a .380 semi-automatic pistol, and handed it to McKnight. Seeing McKnight with the pistol, Mr. Jennings turned to run. McKnight fired seven shots toward Mr. Jennings, six of them hitting the victim, including one in the back of the head. Mr. Jennings died on the scene. Pumphrey and McKnight fled the area in Pumphrey’s car.

     In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the work of the detectives and officers who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department. U.S. Attorney Machen also praised the work of Litigation Technology Specialists Thomas Royal and Tracy Van Atta, Paralegals Donville Drummond and Anthony Griffith, Victim/Witness Security Specialist Tanya Via, and Victim/Witness Advocate Jennifer Clark. Finally, U.S. Attorney Machen recognized the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alessio Evangelista and Lara Worm, who prosecuted the case.





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