FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
For Information Contact:
Virginia Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison
For Attacking 72-Year-Old Man During Home Invasion
- Defendant Awakened Victim, Then Beat Him After Demanding Money -
WASHINGTON - Walter Harris, 61, formerly of Sterling, Va., has been sentenced to a 10-year prison term on charges stemming from a home invasion in which he assaulted a 72-year-old man, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced today.
Harris was convicted by a jury in December 2011, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, of first degree burglary, aggravated assault, robbery, and assault with significant bodily injury. The jury also found that Harris should be subject to a sentencing enhancement for victimizing a senior citizen. He was sentenced on May 29, 2012 by the Honorable Michael Ryan.
According to the government’s evidence, the attack took place early July 3, 2011, at an apartment building in the 900 block of Varney Street SE that is designed for senior citizens. The victim had fallen asleep in his bed after watching television. About 12:30 a.m., Harris broke down the door to the apartment. The victim awoke to find Harris towering over him, demanding his money. When the victim said he had no money, Harris brutally beat him about the face and head, causing him to briefly lose consciousness. Harris then ransacked his apartment.
When a neighbor came to check on the victim, Harris fled the scene, taking with him the victim’s wallet, credit cards, and some other property. Several hours later, police found Harris passed out on a bench under a bus shelter a few blocks from the victim’s apartment. He had the victim’s wallet and credit cards with him. The victim later identified him as the attacker.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the efforts of the detectives, patrol officers and crime scene officers who worked on the case for the Metropolitan Police Department. He also expressed gratitude to the medical personnel from the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department and George Washington University Hospital, who treated the victim and testified about the nature and extent of the injuries. Finally, he commended Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Rakoczy, who prosecuted the case.