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Press Release

Brothers Sentenced to Prison Terms For Shooting and Robbing Man in Northeast Washington

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Victim Remains Paralyzed After Attack

            WASHINGTON – Michael Canarte, 23, and his brother, Aubrey Canarte, 30, both of Washington, D.C., have been sentenced to prison terms for robbing and shooting a man in Northeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced today.

            The brothers pled guilty in January 2015 to charges of assault with intent to kill and unlawful possession of a firearm. They were sentenced on March 13, 2015 by the Honorable Lynn Leibovitz. Michael Canarte was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and his brother was sentenced to seven years. Following their prison terms, Michael Canarte will be placed on five years of supervised release, and Aubrey Canarte on three years of supervised release.

            According to the government’s evidence, the victim was a friend of a man who had been involved in an ongoing dispute with the Canarte brothers. However, the victim was not involved in the dispute. Nonetheless, on the night of Nov. 21, 2013, Aubrey Conarte approached the victim near an apartment building and alley off the 500 block of 60th Street NE and asked about the man. The victim stated that he did not know where the man could be located.

            The victim decided to leave the area and began walking further into the alley. At that point, Michael Canarte emerged from the apartment building and began following the victim. He brandished a gun and ordered the victim to get to the ground. He then rifled through the victim’s pockets, taking his wallet and cellphone. The victim begged for his life. Michael Canarte fired six to 10 rounds, hitting the victim in the neck, leg, and torso.

            Following the initial group of shots, someone remarked that the victim did not appear “dead yet.”  Immediately following the statement, Aubrey Conarte snatched the gun from his brother, walked over to the victim, stood directly above him, and fired two more shots.  After the victim saw dirt kick up next to his face, he stopped moving and pretended to be dead, hoping that the brothers would stop shooting at him. 

            When police and emergency medical personnel arrived on the scene, they discovered the victim and rushed him to Washington Hospital Center.  Though he survives, he suffers paralysis and lost the ability to walk.

            In announcing the sentencings, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of those who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department, including detectives from the Sixth Police District. He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Stephanie Gilbert and Antoinette Sakamsa, Victim/Witness Advocate Jennifer Clark, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert E. Eckert, Jr., who investigated and prosecuted the matter.

Updated March 18, 2015

Press Release Number: 15-050