Driver Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Causing Death on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway

Drove About 90 mph While Under the Influence of Marijuana

May 23, 2008

Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte sentenced Antonio Washington, age 24, of Hyattsville, Maryland, today to 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for involuntary manslaughter arising from a car accident, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

According to his guilty plea, on December 30, 2006 Washington was driving on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway with Ricardo Mitchell in the front seat and another individual in the back seat. The driver of an Acura traveling in the same direction noticed Washington’s car behind her because its headlights were turning on and off as it changed lanes rapidly. She observed Washington’s car come up behind her suddenly in the left lane without headlights. Washington turned sharply into the right lane, cut in front of the Acura, went off the highway onto the grass, flipped over several times and came to rest against a tree.

The back seat passenger was not injured and was able to get out of the car. Washington and Ricardo Mitchell were extricated from the car and taken unconscious to the hospital. Ricardo Mitchell died of his injuries on January 6, 2007.

Accident re-constructionists estimated that Washington’s car was traveling at about 90 miles per hour when it left the roadway. Washington’s blood was analyzed and determined to contain marijuana in a sufficient amount to impair his ability to drive safely. The back seat passenger told U.S. Park Police detectives at the scene of the accident that they had been in Baltimore smoking marijuana. Even after emergency personnel cut the top off Washington’s car to extricate the passengers, a strong odor of marijuana pervaded the interior of the car. The back seat passenger also told investigators that Washington had complained that his headlights had not been working properly for some time.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the U.S. Park Police for its investigative work, and commended Assistant United States Attorneys Stacy Belf and Hollis Raphael Weisman, who prosecuted the case.



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