FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 20, 2012
For Information Contact:
District Man Pleads Guilty to Second-Degree Murder While Armed
In 2011 Attack in Northwest Washington
- Shooting Followed Attempted Robbery -
WASHINGTON - Anthony Speight, Jr., 23, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to a charge of second-degree murder while armed in the January 2011 slaying of a man following a robbery attempt in Northwest Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Speight entered the guilty plea in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Honorable Russell F. Canan scheduled sentencing for Nov. 30, 2012. Speight faces a maximum statutory penalty of 40 years in prison.
According to the government’s evidence, on Jan. 19, 2011, shortly after 11 p.m., Speight was riding a bicycle at Florida Avenue and North Capitol Street NW. As Speight crossed the intersection, he approached a young woman and unsuccessfully propositioned her for sex. Turned away, Speight then continued across the intersection and approached William R. Mitchell, 33, who was walking home from a nearby Metro station.
While still on his bicycle, Speight demanded money from Mr. Mitchell, and at some point during their exchange, the defendant lifted up his shirt, revealing a silver .357 revolver. The young woman, who was still nearby, intervened and told Speight that she would call the police if he did not leave Mr. Mitchell alone. She then pulled out her phone to call the police. Speight knocked the phone out of her hand and repeatedly ran over the phone with his bicycle.
Then, as the woman bent over to pick up her phone, Mr. Mitchell jumped on Speight’s back. Speight and Mr. Mitchell fell to the ground and struggled. During the struggle, Speight pulled out his revolver and shot Mr. Mitchell four times.
In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the efforts of the detectives and other personnel who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department. He acknowledged the hard work and dedication of those who assisted with the investigation and prosecution at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker and Paralegal Specialist Debra Joyner. Finally, he thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steven Snyder and Holly Shick, who investigated and prosecuted the case