FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 2, 2012
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Three Men Sentenced to Decades in Prison For Roles in Conspiracy To Obstruct Justice and Kill a Witness in a Homicide Case
- Violence Included Shootings of Bystanders -
WASHINGTON - Leroy Green, 23, Jermaine Scales, 27, and Darius Styles, 27, were each sentenced to decades in prison today for their roles in a 2 ½ year campaign to obstruct justice in a homicide case, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
The defendants, all from Washington, D.C., were convicted by a jury in November 2011 of charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice, retaliate against witnesses, and kill a witness, as well as assault with intent to kill while armed, aggravated assault, obstruction of justice, and weapons offenses. The verdict followed a three-week trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
The Honorable Ann O’Regan Keary today sentenced Leroy Green to 86 years in prison, Jermaine Scales to 61 years and ten months in prison, and Darius Styles to 38 years and six months in prison.
According to the government’s evidence, on July 29, 2009, Green saw a witness who had testified against him in his recent murder trial, in which he was acquitted. The witness was walking down Minnesota Avenue SE. Green hid behind a wall at the intersection of 18th Street and Minnesota Avenue SE, and waited for the witness to approach. Green then ambushed the witness, as well as a second man, and shot repeatedly at both men. The gunfire hit the witness five times in his legs and the second man in the stomach, inflicting serious injuries on both.
Further investigation revealed that this shooting was the capstone to a 2 ½ year campaign of violence, obstruction, and intimidation in the Greenway neighborhood of Southeast Washington, stemming from the February 20, 2007, murder of 20-year-old Royell Walker – the killing in which Green was ultimately acquitted. Shortly after the murder, the defendants approached witnesses to the slaying and other related acts of violence and systematically instructed them to withhold information from the grand jury and from law enforcement.
The acts of violence aimed at retaliating against and killing witnesses who cooperated with the government included a June 13, 2007, drive-by shooting, during which Green, Scales, and Styles opened fire from a car, attempting to kill a witness who was standing in the 3400 block of B Street SE. Instead of hitting their target, the gunfire struck three bystanders, two of whom suffered severe and aggravated injuries. Scales was further convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon for assaulting the same homicide witness with a gun.
The acts of intimidation, coercion, and obstruction of justice committed by Green, Scales, and Styles, which struck at the very heart of the criminal justice system, included instructing witnesses to lie about the drive-by shooting and other acts of violence, and ultimately directing a witness to lie in the homicide trial itself, which the government argued resulted in false testimony being presented by Green in the homicide case.
In announcing the sentences, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the hard work of Metropolitan Police Department Detectives Lee Littlejohn, Eric Roche, Thurman Stallings, Gabriel Truby, and Edward Truesdale; Sergeant Christopher Clark, Officer Wade Zech, Crime Scene Officers Holly Paige, Pertheria McIver, Michael DePrince, Ridley Durham, and Israel Ruiz, Firearms Examiners Daniel Barrett, Robert Poole, and Jonathan Pope, and Fingerprint Examiner Clinton Hall, all of whom played a critical role in the investigation and prosecution of this case.
U.S. Attorney Machen also expressed appreciation to Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alessio Evangelista, Michelle Jackson, and Stephen Prest, Paralegal Antoinette Sakamsa, Legal Assistant Serrita Hill, and Witness Advocates Jennifer Clark and Marcia Rinker, who worked tirelessly in a case in which many witnesses were afraid to testify, as well as Paralegal and Litigation Technology and Information Technology Specialists Leif Hickling, Paul Howell, Thomas Royal, and Joshua Ellen, and Paralegal Phaylyn Hunt, who was instrumental in preparing the case for trial.
Finally, U.S. Attorney Machen commended Assistant U.S. Attorneys Melinda A. Williams and Erik Kenerson, who prosecuted and tried the case.