FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 27, 2012
For Information Contact:
District Man Pleads Guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter
In 2008 Slaying in Southeast Washington
-Defendant Stabbed Victim During Argument Inside Apartment-
WASHINGTON - John Lewis Middleton, 55, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to a charge of involuntary manslaughter stemming from a slaying that took place in 2008 in Southeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Middleton entered the guilty plea in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Honorable Herbert B. Dixon, Jr. scheduled sentencing for Nov. 28, 2012. Middleton faces a statutory maximum of 30 years in prison.
According to the government’s evidence, in early May of 2008, Middleton met the victim, Calvin Starks, 45, and Mr. Starks’s wife, while attending a church function. Mr. Starks and his wife were homeless at the time. Middleton invited them to stay with him in his efficiency apartment in the 5200 block of Central Avenue SE.
On May 26, 2008, at approximately 10:30 p.m., Middleton was awakened from his sleep because of noise made by the victim’s wife, who left the apartment. Middleton became angry and ordered Mr. Starks to leave his home. An argument ensued and Mr. Starks spat on Middleton’s face. Mr. Starks was 6 foot 1 inches tall and Middleton is 5 foot 4. Middleton grabbed a knife and stabbed Mr. Starks in the chest and then in the back. Mr. Starks immediately ran outside and called 911. Middleton also immediately called 911.
When the police arrived, Mr. Starks identified the defendant as the person who stabbed him. He died within a few hours from the stab wounds. Middleton immediately told the police that he stabbed Mr. Starks and volunteered to show police where he had placed the knife. He also described what prompted the fight.
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the detectives and officers who worked on the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker and Paralegal Specialist Kelly Blakeney. Finally, he expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steve Snyder and Cynthia G. Wright, who prosecuted the case.