FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
For Information Contact:
District Man Convicted of Murder and Other Charges
In Slaying of Man in Northeast Washington
- Defendant Lured Victim to an Alley Following a Dispute Over Money -
WASHINGTON - Charles Coates, 43, of Washington, D.C., was found guilty by a jury today of second-degree murder while armed and three weapons felonies stemming from a shooting last year in Northeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
The verdict followed an eight-day trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Honorable William M. Jackson scheduled sentencing for Dec. 14, 2012. Coates faces a maximum sentence of 105 years in prison. Under the District of Columbia’s voluntary sentencing guidelines, his sentence is expected to be within a range of 13 years to 46 years in prison.
According to the government’s evidence, Coates shot and killed Eddie Leonard, Jr., 32, at about 11:50 p.m., on Feb. 20, 2011, in an alley behind the 400 block of 24th Street NE. Mr. Leonard was a son of the defendant’s first cousin. The evidence presented at trial showed that Coates and Mr. Leonard had a dispute over money earlier that day, which led Coates to lure Mr. Leonard to the alley that night, and shoot him once in the head with a .380 caliber handgun.
Coates was arrested in the case on April 20, 2011.
In announcing the verdict, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of the detectives and officers from the Metropolitan Police Department who responded to the scene of the murder and canvassed the area for evidence and witnesses. He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paul Howell and Joe Calvarese, of the Litigation Technology Unit; Paralegals Sandra Lane and Alesha Matthews Yette of the Homicide Section; Marcie Rinker, Michael Hailey and David Foster of the Victim Witness Assistance Unit; Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Miller, who oversaw the grand jury investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Liebman, who prosecuted the case at trial.