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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 6, 2013

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District Man Sentenced to 22 Years in Prison
For Two Attacks, Including One That Ended in Murder
-Crimes Took Place Over Three-Day Period in 2010-

     WASHINGTON – Monquel Cook, 23, of Washington, DC, was sentenced today to a 22-year prison term for his role in the killing of a man during a robbery, as well as a separate attempted robbery of two other men, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

     Cook pled guilty in April 2013, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to one count of second-degree murder while armed and two counts of assault with intent to rob. The plea, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for a sentencing range of 14 to 22 years of incarceration. The Honorable John Ramsey Johnson accepted the plea today and sentenced Cook to the 22-year term. Upon completion of his prison term, Cook will be placed on five years of supervised release.

     According to the government’s evidence, the first of the two attacks occurred on Aug. 19, 2010.  At about 11:30 p.m., Cook and his cousin, Jovon Clay, entered an apartment in the 2300 block of Good Hope Road SE. The men were familiar with a female occupant of the apartment, and they entered with the intent to rob anyone inside. Once inside the apartment, Clay brandished a 9mm handgun and demanded that a man who was there give them his belongings.

     The male refused, however, and was able to get Cook in a headlock.  At this time, another man entered the apartment. Clay took this man to the couch, had him lie face down, and searched his pockets. Clay then returned to the other victim, who still had Cook in a headlock.  Cook screamed for Clay to shoot the victim, and Clay fired multiple rounds, hitting the man in the leg.  Cook then searched the man’s pockets for money, but found none.  Both Cook and Clay then fled the apartment.

     The murder took place at about 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 22, 2010, Cook and Clay decided to rob the victim, Michael Wilson, 47, whom they believed had a large amount of cash and narcotics in his home.  The two men waited for Wilson inside Wilson’s building located in the 4200 block of South Capitol Street SE. When Wilson returned home, the two men forced their way into the apartment.  Clay had the same 9mm firearm used in the Aug. 19 crimes, and pointed it at Mr. Wilson. Cook, meanwhile, searched the apartment for money and/or narcotics.

     While Cook started looking around the apartment, Mr. Wilson approached Clay and began a struggle with him, during which Clay dropped the firearm. Cook ran over and joined the fight.  During the struggle, Mr. Wilson was shot several times. Also during the struggle, Cook was grazed behind his ear by either a bullet or a bullet fragment.  After shooting Mr. Wilson, Cook and Clay fled the apartment.

     Mr. Wilson struggled out of his apartment to the front door of his building, where he collapsed, and he died a short time later.  Cook and Clay stopped a short distance away to call for an ambulance.  Cook told police that he had been shot while walking in an alley; however, swabbings of blood found outside of Mr. Wilson’s door and leading to a trail in the rear of the building matched the DNA profile obtained from the Cook’s swab sample.

     Clay, 21, of Washington, D.C., earlier pled guilty to charges of second-degree murder, assault with intent to rob while armed, and conspiracy to distribute narcotics.

     In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the Metropolitan Police Department for its work on the investigation.  He also commended the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Sandra Lane and Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker. Finally, he commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey Pearlman, who investigated and indicted the case, and Michelle Bradford who prosecuted the case after indictment.         

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