FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 7, 2012
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District Man Sentenced to 37 Years in Prison
For Armed Home Invasion and Assault
- Three Victims Attacked with a Crowbar -
WASHINGTON - Vernon Bunch, 42, of Washington, D.C., has been sentenced to 37 years and 10 months in prison for his role in an armed home invasion and the assault and armed robberies of three victims, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced today.
Bunch was convicted by a jury in April 2012, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He was convicted of one count of first-degree burglary while armed, two counts of aggravated assault while armed, three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, one count of armed robbery, one count of first-degree burglary, two counts of obstructing justice, and one count of simple assault. He was sentenced on June 6, 2012, by the Honorable Gerald I. Fisher.
According to the government’s evidence, on March 20, 2011, at about 3 a.m., Bunch broke into the victims’ apartment in the 2700 block of Jasper Street SE, taking the front door of the apartment and its hinges off the door frame. Two of the victims - a man and a woman - were sleeping in their beds, and the third victim, a man, was watching television in the living room.
Once inside the apartment, Bunch cornered all three victims in a back bedroom and repeatedly struck them with a metal crowbar, yelling “Where’s it at?” An accomplice was blocking the only door through which the victims could escape.
Bunch was beating the victims so brutally with the crowbar that the woman and one of the men jumped out of a second-story window, falling 15 to 20 feet, in order to escape. As a result of Bunch’s attack, the woman suffered a shattered heel and broken vertebrae in her back, and the man suffered brain hemorrhaging, a broken back, and broken ribs. He continues to this day to be plagued by memory problems as a result of the attack by Bunch.
Shortly after the victims jumped out of the bedroom window, Bunch left the apartment, taking only a cell phone and approximately $60.
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 commended the work of Paralegal Antoinette Sakamsa; Litigation Technology Specialist Joshua Ellen; Victim/Witness Advocate Jim Brennan; and Victim/Witness Security Specialist Tanya Via. Finally, U.S. Attorney Machen recognized Assistant U.S. Attorneys Heather Carlton, who investigated the case, and Kimberley Nielsen and Jennifer Kerkhoff, who prosecuted the case at trial.