FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 16, 2012
For Information Contact:
District Man Sentenced to Seven-Year Prison Term
For Obstruction of Justice
- Defendant Targeted Woman Who Testified Against Him at an Earlier Trial -
WASHINGTON - Terrence J. Jones, 22, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to a seven-year prison term for threatening a witness who previously testified against him in a murder trial, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Jones was convicted of a charge of obstruction of justice in January 2012, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He was sentenced by the Honorable Herbert B. Dixon, Jr.
According to the government’s evidence, Jones had been charged with the September 18, 2008 murder of 18-year-old Tanganika Stanton in Northeast Washington, which allegedly took place after a dispute involving a hamburger. After the conclusion of a trial in April 2010, a Superior Court jury found the defendant not guilty of murder and other charges.
Just over two months after he was released from jail, Jones embarked on a campaign to threaten and harass a witness because she and her child had testified for the government during the murder trial. For more than a year, Jones sent threatening Facebook messages to the witness. These messages had their intended effect – the witness was frightened for herself and her family.
In addition, in May 2011, Jones saw the witness while stopped at an intersection in Northeast Washington and he made a gesture threatening to shoot her. Finally, on August 9, 2011, Jones nearly ran over the witness with a speeding vehicle while she was with a 1-year-old grandchild in Northeast Washington.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the work of those who handled the case for the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), including Detective William Xanten III and Officer Michael Hoban. He also thanked those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Supervisory Victim Witness Specialist Michael Hailey; Victim Witness Advocate Tanya Via; Paralegal Specialist Theresa Nelson, and Litigation Support Specialist Joshua Ellen. Finally, he thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Kerkhoff, who assisted in the investigation, and Holly Shick, who investigated and prosecuted the case.