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Press Release

District Man Found Guilty of Felony Assault Charges for Striking His Brother-In-Law in the Head with a Lug Wrench

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Victim Was Hit So Hard That the Lug Wrench Broke In Two Pieces

            WASHINGTON – Keith Johnson, 48, of Washington, D.C., has been found guilty by a jury of charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and assault with significant bodily injury while armed for attacking his brother-in-law, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu.

            The verdict was returned on Aug. 13, 2018, followed a two-week trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Honorable José M. López scheduled sentencing for Nov. 9, 2018.

            According to the government’s evidence, in the early morning hours of Jan. 10, 2018, Johnson’s wife was visiting her sister and brother-in-law, in the 4300 block of Wheeler Road SE. Johnson went to the residence to take his wife home. When his wife refused to leave with him, Johnson became irate. The brother-in-law, 56, intervened and asked Johnson to leave.

            A fight ensued, which culminated in Johnson pulling his brother-in-law by his ankles down two flights of stairs. With his brother-in-law in and out of consciousness at the bottom of the stairs, Johnson went to his car, retrieved a steel lug wrench, and returned to strike him over the head with the lug wrench. He hit him with such force that the lug wrench broke into two pieces. Johnson fled and was arrested during a traffic stop a few minutes later. His brother-in-law suffered a 4 ½-inch gash across the top of his head, which required surgical staples to close.

            Johnson, who was in custody pending trial, remains held pending the sentencing.

            In announcing the verdict, U.S. Attorney Liu commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. She also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Louis Manzo and Kristina Wolf; Appellate Division Deputy Chief Nicholas Coleman; Victim/Witness Advocate Elsa Maltese; Michael Ambrosino, Special Counsel for DNA and Forensic Evidence Litigation;  Forensic Operation/Program Specialist Benjamin Kagan-Guthrie; Litigation Technology Supervisor Jeanie Latimore-Brown; Paralegal Specialists Tiffany Jones and Brenda Williams; Criminal Investigator Tommy Miller, and Interns Megan Hughes, Alexa Perlmutter, and Jill Rogowski.

            Finally, she commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer B. Loeb and Amy Joy Thomas, who prosecuted the case at trial.

Updated August 14, 2018

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 18-217