FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 29, 2013
For Information Contact:
District Man Pleads Guilty to Second-Degree Murder While Armed
In 2012 Shooting in Northeast Washington
-Defendant Shot Victim in Broad Daylight at a Busy Metro Bus Stop-
WASHINGTON – Detrek Baker, 24, of Washington, D.C., has pled guilty to a charge of second-degree murder while armed for the April 2012 slaying of a man at a Northeast Washington bus stop, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced today.
Baker entered his plea on April 26, 2013 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Honorable Herbert B. Dixon, Jr. scheduled sentencing for June 28, 2013.
According to the government’s evidence, on Saturday, April 28, 2012, the victim, James Sherrod, Jr., and a friend, both 22, walked to the U5 Metro bus stop in front of Mayfair Manor, in the 700 block of Kenilworth Terrace NE. Baker, who was carrying a red, black, and grey single-strap book bag, was standing at the bus stop along with several other young men.
For nearly an hour, the victim, Baker, and others stood at the bus stop, talking. At about 1:40 p.m., without provocation or warning, Baker pulled out a gun and shot Mr. Sherrod in the head. When the victim collapsed, Baker stood over him and fired additional bullets into his body.
Immediately after the shooting, Baker ran toward 800 Kenilworth Avenue NE. Eyewitnesses observed him pause beside one of the trash dumpsters there while running away; later they directed the police to those dumpsters. Inside one of the dumpsters was a red, black, and grey single-strap book bag and a .357 revolver. Inside the revolver were five spent casings and one live round. Two bullets were recovered from Mr. Sherrod’s body during an autopsy; police determined that those bullets were fired from the .357 revolver found in the dumpster.
Individuals at the bus stop as well as several members of the community spoke with law enforcement. They reported what they had observed at the bus stop. These eyewitnesses were instrumental not only in helping the police identify Baker as the shooter within hours of the murder, but also in strengthening the evidence against him, ultimately resulting his guilty plea.
In accepting the defendant’s guilty plea, Judge Dixon asked the defendant why he shot Mr. Sherrod. Baker admitted that there was no ongoing hostility or “beef” between him and the victim; rather, he simply stated that he shot the victim because he “did not like him.”
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the work of the detectives, officers, and crime scene technicians who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department. He also commended the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Ethel Gregory, Marian Russell, and Kendra Johnson; Lead Paralegal Specialist Sharon Newman; Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker, and Intelligence Specialists Lawrence Grasso, Shannon Alexis, Sharon Johnson, and William Hamann. Finally, U.S. Attorney Machen recognized former Assistant U.S. Attorney J.P. Cooney and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberley Nielsen, who investigated and prosecuted the case.