FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 23, 2012
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District Man Sentenced to Life in Prison With No Possibility of Release in the 2010 Killing of a Government Witness
- Defendant Hid Behind a Building, Waiting to Attack the Victim -
WASHINGTON - Anthony Waters, 44, was sentenced today to life in prison with no possibility of release for first-degree premeditated murder while armed, with aggravating circumstances, in the killing of a government witness, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., announced.
Waters, of Washington, D.C., was convicted by a jury of the murder charge and related weapons offenses in January 2012, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He was sentenced by the Honorable Russell F. Canan.
According to the government’s evidence at trial, Waters and the victim, Derrick Harris, 37, knew each other from the 2600 block of Birney Place SE, and were part of a crew in the neighborhood known as Parkchester. In June 1998, Mr. Harris testified regarding a 1996 murder that occurred in the Barry Farm area of Southeast Washington. Afterward, Mr. Harris was shunned by many people he knew, including Waters, for cooperating with the authorities.
Mr. Harris avoided the neighborhood where he knew that people considered him a traitor. But on June 14, 2010, he returned to the 2600 block of Birney Place to meet a friend. At this time, Waters and Mr. Harris got into an argument. Waters did not believe that Mr. Harris should be in the neighborhood, and he punched Mr. Harris in the face and threatened to kill him if he was still there when Waters returned. Both men left the scene, but Waters returned and hid behind a building, waiting for the victim to come back.
Shortly thereafter, about 9 p.m., when Mr. Harris returned to the neighborhood, Waters came out from his hiding place, wearing a ski mask, and repeatedly shot the victim. Mr. Harris died on the scene from his injuries, one gunshot wound to the head and five to the back.
“Twelve years after Derrick Harris testified about a murder in Barry Farm, he returned to the neighborhood and was himself murdered,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “Today his killer was sentenced to a life prison sentence with no possibility of release. That sentence reflects the depth of our commitment to punish those who target witnesses for simply telling the truth.”
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the efforts of Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Detectives Anthony McGee, Dwayne Corbett, Keith Batton, and Jeffrey Williams. He also commended the work of Mobile Crime Technicians George Klein, James Savage and Dwayne Mitchell, and MPD Officers Steven Murrell and William Bogner.
U.S. Attorney Machen also extended his appreciation to Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker; Witness Security Specialists Katina Adams, Debra Cannon, LaVerne Forrest, David Foster, Michael Hailey and Tanya Via; Paralegals Sandra Lane and Alesha Matthews; Litigation Support Specialists Thomas Royal, Kimberly Smith, William Henderson and Paul Howell, who assisted with trial preparation, and Intelligence Specialist Lawrence Grasso.
Finally, he praised the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Vinét Bryant, who indicted the case and prosecuted it at trial.