FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
For Information Contact:
Maryland Man Sentenced to 11 ½ Years in Prison
For 2012 Shooting in Southeast Washington
-He and Another Man Targeted Victims, Who Were in a Car-
WASHINGTON - Delonte Smith, 20, of Capitol Heights, Md., was sentenced today to a prison term of 11 ½ years on charges stemming from a shooting that took place last year in Southeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Smith, also known as “Unc,” was found guilty in July 2013 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia of one count of conspiracy to commit a crime of violence, two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, two counts of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, and two counts of simple assault. The verdicts followed a two-week trial. Smith was sentenced by the Honorable Heidi M. Pasichow. Upon completion of his prison term, he will be placed on three years of supervised release.
According to the government’s evidence, at about 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 11, 2012, Smith approached a vehicle that was parked in the 5000 block of H Street SE and told the man in the driver’s seat, Christopher Ballard, to get out. When Mr. Ballard refused, Smith tried to open the car door, which was locked. He then walked around the vehicle to the passenger’s side and told the woman in the front passenger’s seat to get out of the car.
In the meantime, Smith’s best friend and accomplice, Jeffrey Ray Tyson, 20, also known as “Baby Boy,” approached the driver’s side door and produced a handgun. Tyson tapped several times on the driver’s side window with the handgun and ordered Mr. Ballard out of the car. Mr. Ballard refused, put the car into drive, and attempted to drive away from the area. Tyson fired six shots at the vehicle, at least two of which hit the car. Although neither of the people in the car was hit, the two rounds that struck the vehicle were in the direction of the driver’s head. The car’s occupants flagged down patrol officers just a few blocks away.
Tyson died as the result of a homicide five days later, in an unrelated incident.
In a related matter, Smith’s brother, Antoine Mayhand, 28, was sentenced Nov. 15, 2013 to a five-year prison term for obstruction of justice. According to the government’s evidence, on May 28, 2013, Mayhand confronted Mr. Ballard in Southeast Washington and stated, “I should put a knife on you and stab you.” Mr. Ballard called 911 and got away unharmed. Mayhand was arrested on the day of the threat and has been in custody ever since.
On July 8, 2013, less than 48 hours before he was scheduled to testify in the trial against Smith, Mr. Ballard, 38, was murdered in Southeast Washington. The murder of Mr. Ballard remains under investigation and no arrests have been made.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen expressed appreciation for the work of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) which investigated the case. He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Antoinette Sakamsa and Tony Griffith; Litigation Technology Specialists Leif Hickling and Claudia Gutierrez; Victim/Witness Advocate Jim Brennan, Victim/Witness Supervisor Michael Hailey, Victim/Witness Security Specialist Tanya Via, and Victim/Witness Services Coordinator David Foster. Finally, he praised the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard E. DiZinno, who prosecuted the case.