FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 17, 2013
For Information Contact:
District Man and Woman Sentenced to Prison Terms
For Their Roles in Killing of 18-Year-Old Latisha Frazier
Victim’s Body Was Left in a Dumpster, Never Found;
Two Defendants Are Among Seven People Convicted in Case
WASHINGTON – Cinthya Proctor, 21, and Laurence Hassan, 24, were sentenced today to prison terms for second-degree murder and other charges in the August 2010 kidnapping and murder of 18-year-old Latisha Frazier, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr.
Proctor was sentenced to 21 years of incarceration on charges of second-degree murder, kidnapping and conspiracy to commit evidence tampering. Hassan was sentenced to an 18-year prison term for second-degree murder and kidnapping. Both defendants, of Washington, D.C., were sentenced in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia by the Honorable William M. Jackson. Upon completion of their prison terms, they will be placed on five years of supervised release.
Proctor, who pled guilty in July 2011, and Hassan, who pled guilty in October 2011, are among six defendants who have pled guilty to charges related to the killing. A seventh defendant was found guilty by a jury last month of first-degree felony murder and other charges.
According to the government’s evidence, Proctor and Hassan were part of a group of six young men and women who took part in the murder of Ms. Frazier.
Ms. Frazier vanished on Aug. 2, 2010. For months, her family relentlessly sought to find her, passing out flyers and contacting local news stations to publicize her disappearance. In late January 2011, one witness finally stepped forward and contacted the Metropolitan Police Department, revealing the truth of Ms. Frazier’s whereabouts.
On the day of her disappearance, the government’s evidence showed, Ms. Frazier had been brutally murdered by the group of six men and women (ages 16 to 23), all of whom she believed to be her friends. The group had suspected - with little evidence - that Ms. Frazier had stolen about $900 from one of the men, Johnnie Sweet. He recruited others and exacted a plan of revenge in which they would call her over to an apartment where they claimed to be socializing.
When Ms. Frazier arrived at the apartment in the 1700 block of Trenton Place SE, the group took her to a small bedroom where Sweet and others punched, kicked, and stomped her all over her body. Ignoring her pleas for them to stop, they bound her in duct tape, taped a pillowcase over her head so she could not scream, and shoved her in a small, dark closet. When she screamed and moaned, one of the members of the group placed her in a sleeper hold to “put her to sleep.” Later, the group discovered that she had died.
Upon learning that Ms. Frazier had died, Proctor took part in a discussion about what to do with her body. The initial plan was to dismember the body, put it in a container, and dispose of it in a park. The next day, Proctor joined in an attempt to dismember the body in a bathtub. But she became physically ill and went to a hospital before the body was removed from the apartment. That evening, Ms. Frazier’s body was thrown into a dumpster, and it is now believed to be somewhere in one or two landfills in rural Virginia.
In addition to Proctor and Hassan, those pleading guilty include Brian Gaither, 25, who was sentenced in April 2013 to a 32-year prison term after pleading guilty to first-degree murder; Anneka Nelson, 18, who pled guilty to second-degree murder and kidnapping; Lanee Bell, 19, who pled guilty to kidnapping, and Antoine McCullough, 27, who pled guilty to conspiracy to commit evidence tampering. Except for Gaither, the other defendants are awaiting sentencing.
Sweet, 19, was found guilty by a jury on April 30, 2013, of first-degree felony murder with aggravating circumstances; first-degree premeditated murder with aggravating circumstances; kidnapping, and tampering with physical evidence. The Honorable Russell F. Canan scheduled sentencing for July 11, 2013. Sweet faces a mandatory minimum of 30 years and a maximum of 60 years of incarceration.
In announcing today’s sentences, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the work of those who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), including detectives from the Major Case/Cold Case Squad and the Seventh District.
They also expressed appreciation for the efforts of those who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Larry Grasso of the Criminal Intelligence Unit, Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker, and Paralegal Specialists Kwasi Fields, Phaylyn Hunt, and Angela Lawrence. Finally, they thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher R. Kavanaugh and Melinda Williams, who prosecuted the case.13-175