FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
For Information Contact:
District Man Sentenced to 32 Years in Prison
For 2007 Slaying in Northeast Washington
- Victim Was Bound, Gagged and Stabbed Inside His Apartment -
WASHINGTON - Ronnell James, 39, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 32 years in prison after earlier pleading guilty to a charge of second-degree murder while armed, with aggravating circumstances, in a slaying that took place in 2007 in Northeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
James pled guilty to the charge in January 2012, along with aggravating circumstances that the murder was especially heinous and cruel. He was sentenced by the Honorable Ann O’Regan Keary in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
According to the government’s evidence, on the night of April 7, 2007, a relative found the victim, Robert Beidleman Jr., 56, deceased inside his apartment in the 1800 block of Central Place NE. The government’s evidence found that Mr. Beidleman had been bound, gagged, and stabbed, all in order to get him to reveal the combination of a small safe he kept in the apartment.
The safe was found open and empty inside the apartment, about five feet from Mr. Beidleman’s body. James subsequently admitted to the police that he had attempted to burglarize Mr. Beidleman’s apartment on the day of the murder and stated that he had helped another person in binding the victim. No one else has been arrested in the case.
Items from Mr. Beidleman’s apartment were later found by police at the defendant’s residence and at the residence of his mother. James was arrested for the murder on November 14, 2008, and has been held without bond since that time.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the efforts of the detectives, officers, and crime scene technicians who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). He also praised the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Liebman, who prosecuted the case.