FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 19, 2012
For Information Contact:
Repeat Offender Sentenced to 23 Years in Prison
For Armed Robbery of a Senior Citizen and Assault
-Defendant Accosted Victim at Knifepoint, Threatened Man Who Tried to Help-
WASHINGTON – James Forte, 59, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 23 years in prison on charges stemming from an armed robbery earlier this year in Northwest Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Forte was convicted by a jury in July 2012, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, of all counts contained in an indictment charging him with armed robbery of a senior citizen, assault with a dangerous weapon, threats, and carrying a dangerous weapon. He was sentenced by the Honorable Florence Pan.
In addition to the offense itself, the sentence reflected that Mr. Forte had two or more prior convictions in the District of Columbia for crimes of violence, including a 1997 conviction for robbery of a senior citizen, for which Mr. Forte had only recently been released on parole.
According to evidence presented at trial, Forte brandished a knife while robbing a senior citizen of his wallet, and ultimately, money, in an attack that took place at about 10:15 p.m. April 18, 2012, in the 1600 block of 21st Street NW. Another citizen saw the attack and intervened to help the senior citizen. Forte brandished the knife at the Good Samaritan and threatened him. The Good Samaritan backed away, and Forte fled.
The Good Samaritan followed Forte, saw him board a Metrobus headed into Dupont Circle, and notified the police. Officers with the Metropolitan Police Department’s Second District stopped the bus in Dupont Circle. Forte was removed from the bus, identified as the robber, and arrested. His knife was later recovered from the seat he occupied on the bus.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen expressed his appreciation to the Metropolitan Police Department. He also commended the work of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Allison Daniels; Assistant U.S. Attorney Holly Shick, who obtained the indictment in the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Rickard, who prosecuted the case at trial.