FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 5, 2012
For Information Contact:
Two District Men Plead Guilty to Murder Charges
In 2011 Slaying of Passenger on Metrobus
- Security Video on the Bus Recorded the Shooting -
WASHINGTON – Delron Atchison, 24, and Vincent Gray, 22, both of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to charges of second-degree murder while armed in the slaying last year of a passenger on a Metrobus, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Atchison and Gray entered their pleas in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Atchison also pled guilty to three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, due to the fact that three other passengers were seated near the victim at the time of the Oct. 20, 2011 shooting.
The Honorable Thomas J. Motley scheduled sentencing for Dec. 14, 2012. Atchison faces a statutory maximum of 130 years in prison, and Gray faces up to 40 years of incarceration. Under the respective plea agreements, the government can seek a sentence of up to 60 years in prison for Atchison, and up to 18 years in prison for Gray.
According to the court papers and the defendant’s own statements during the plea hearing, Atchison and Gray had a fight with the victim, Demetrius Thompson, 22, on the night of Oct. 19, 2011. Afterward, the defendants armed themselves.
About 45 minutes later, just after midnight, they saw a bus approaching in the 2100 block of Alabama Avenue SE and thought that Mr. Thompson might be on it. When the bus stopped, Gray got on board and pointed out Mr. Thompson to Atchison. Atchison then boarded the bus, walked directly toward Mr. Thompson, drew a 9-millimeter handgun, and fired it at him two times, striking him with both shots. The defendants then fled the bus. Mr. Thompson died from his wounds early Oct. 20, 2011, about an hour after he was shot.
Security video on the Metrobus recorded the entire incident. Atchison and Gray were arrested at a hotel in the Orlando, Fla. area five days after the shooting and have been in custody since that time.
In announcing the guilty pleas, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the efforts of the Metropolitan Police Department, the Metro Transit Police Department, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Orange County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office. He also acknowledged the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Liebman and Scott Sroka, who prosecuted the case.12-351