FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 25, 2012
For Information Contact:
District Man Sentenced to 26 Years in Prison For Stabbing
Longtime Acquaintance in the Neck, Then Obstructing Justice
- Defendant Tried to Get Victim to Recant Statements to Police -
WASHINGTON - Michael G. Tanner, 36, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 26 years in prison for stabbing another man in the neck, and then obstructing justice to cover up his act, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Tanner was convicted by a jury in October 2011 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia of several assault charges, including aggravated assault while armed and of carrying a dangerous weapon. The jury also convicted Tanner of obstructing justice for attempting to convince witnesses to say that other men were responsible for the attack. He was sentenced by the Honorable Thomas J. Motley. Upon completion of his prison term, Tanner will be placed on five years of supervised release.
The government’s evidence proved that on the late afternoon of Jan. 28, 2010, Tanner ran into the victim, then 40, at a liquor store near the intersection of 15th and D Streets NE. The victim and Tanner had known one another for approximately 15 years. Both men visited that neighborhood regularly because their families lived in the area.
The two men left the store and began to argue. The victim later told police that Tanner was upset because he did not loan Tanner money when Tanner asked a few days earlier.
As they walked down the 1400 block of Duncan Street NE, Tanner turned around and stabbed the victim in the neck with a knife. The wound was deep, nearly touching the victim’s vertebrae, and landing only a centimeter from the victim’s carotid artery. The victim immediately sought help from several Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers who were nearby. First District Officer Sean Mackenzie inserted his finger in the stab wound and applied pressure to stop the bleeding until medical personnel arrived.
Although the victim was initially reluctant to identify Tanner as his attacker, he eventually gave a full statement to police. Over the months that followed the assault, Tanner made several efforts to contact the victim. Tanner wanted him to recant his earlier statements to the police and to say that two other men were responsible for the attack.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the investigative work of the many people from the MPD who worked on this case, including detectives and officers from the First Police District. He also praised the efforts of those in the U.S. Attorney’s Office who worked on the case, including Jeanie Latimore-Brown and Joshua Ellen, who provided technical support for the trial. Mr. Machen also thanked Paralegal Tameka Garcia for preparing this case for trial. He also commended Criminal Investigators Melissa Matthews, Shannon Alexis and Lawrence Grasso for their investigative support during the course of this case and at trial. Lastly, he praised Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Saler, who investigated the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily C. Scruggs, who investigated and prosecuted the matter at trial.