FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
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Man Convicted of Felony Murder While Armed, Other Charges
In Slayings of Two Men at Northeast Washington Store
- Victims, a Father and Son, Were Shot in Robbery -
WASHINGTON - Christian Taylor, 27, of Washington, D.C., was convicted by a jury today of felony murder while armed and other charges in the June 2010 slayings of a father and a son at a wholesale store in Northeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
The verdicts followed a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Taylor was convicted of multiple counts of felony murder while armed, first-degree premeditated murder while armed, armed robbery, and second-degree burglary while armed. Because the murder charges include aggravating circumstances, Taylor faces a maximum sentence of life in prison with no possibility of release. The Honorable Thomas J. Motley, who presided at the trial, scheduled sentencing for Aug. 23, 2012.
According to the government’s evidence, the victims - Ming-Kun Chih, 59, and his son, Li Jen Chih, 32 - were working in their store, Lida Wholesale Market, on the afternoon of June 23, 2010, when Taylor entered the establishment. Taylor pointed a handgun at Li Jen Chih, who was working behind the counter, and ordered him to put money into a bag. As the robbery continued, Taylor shot Li Jen Chih as well as his father. He then fled the scene. Li Jen Chih, who suffered multiple gunshot wounds, was pronounced dead at the store. His father was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead several hours later
The murders were captured by surveillance cameras inside the store in the 1200 block of Fifth Street NE. In addition, a citizen heard shots coming from the area of the store and saw a person flee in a silver Pontiac. The citizen noted the license plate of the car, which was traced to Taylor’s mother. Taylor was arrested six days after the murders and has been in custody ever since.
Taylor also was linked to the crimes through a plastic bag left inside the store. The bag, which was used to hold some of the money, broke while it was in Taylor’s hand. DNA evidence from the handle of the broken bag matched the defendant’s known profile.
“Ming-Kun Chih and Li Jen Chih were killed while simply trying to earn a living at their family’s store,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “Thanks to an alert citizen, who provided critical information, this defendant was arrested, and now he has been brought to justice. This case shows the importance of people coming forward to stop violent predators in our community.”
In announcing the verdicts, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the efforts of the detectives, officers and technicians who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department. He also acknowledged the work of those who handled the case at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrienne Dedjinou, Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker, Paralegal Specialists Alesha Matthews-Yette and Meridith McGarrity, and Litigation Technology Specialists Leif Hickling, Ron Royal and Paul Howell. Finally, he thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Deborah Sines and Glenn Kirschner, who investigated and prosecuted the case.