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Press Release

30 Year Sentence for District Man Who Stabbed Two Men in Northwest DC, Killing One

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia

            WASHINGTON – Joseph Melton, 55, of Washington, DC, was sentenced today, by Superior Court Judge Michael O’Keefe, to 366 months in prison for the January 2020 murder of a man. The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Chief Pamela Smith, of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Melton pleaded guilty on March 25, 2024, to second degree murder while armed and assault with a dangerous weapon (knife).

            According to the government’s evidence, around 9:10 a.m. on January 14, 2020, Melton approached Kevin Chamberlain in the 1800 block of Connecticut Ave. NW. Mr. Chamberlain recognized the defendant from college, thirty years ago, but did not know the defendant’s name. As they encountered each other, Melton made threats to Mr. Chamberlain, and then pulled out a knife from his pants pocket and attempted to stab him. Mr. Chamberlain was able to escape that attack and Melton fled the scene.

            Later that same day, at around 1:15 p.m., a second victim encountered Melton in the 800 block of Vermont Ave., NW. Melton stabbed this victim in a vicious attack. This victim would later physically recover from his injuries.

            However, about an hour thereafter, Melton re-encountered Mr. Chamberlain in the area of the intersection of 24th and G Streets, NW, and attacked him again, stabbing him repeatedly. Mr. Chamberlain succumbed to his wounds a few hours thereafter.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Graves and Chief Smith commended the work of those investigating the case from the Homicide Branch of the Metropolitan Police Department. They acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Liebman and Andrea Antonelli.


Updated June 14, 2024

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-516