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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

District Man Found Guilty Of First-Degree Murder While Armed In 2012 Shooting On Crowded Southeast Washington Block


-Defendant Shot Victim Repeatedly-

     WASHINGTON - Demonta Chappell, 23, of Washington, D.C., was found guilty by a jury today of first-degree murder while armed and other charges stemming from a slaying that took place in 2012 in Southeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

     Chappell was found guilty of the murder charge, related weapons offenses, and three counts of obstruction of justice.  The verdict followed a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Honorable Rhonda Reid Winston scheduled sentencing for Jan. 27, 2015.

     According to the government’s evidence, on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, shortly after 9 p.m., Chappell approached the victim, Stevann Moorer, 26, who was standing in the 500 block of Parkland Place SE. The block was crowded that evening with people celebrating a local horseshoes team championship in a nearby park. When Chappell reached Mr. Moorer, he pulled out a semi-automatic pistol and shot him.  Chappell then stood over Mr. Moorer and shot him several more times. Following the shooting, Chappell fled through a nearby alley.

     After his arrest in the case, Chappell made several attempts to contact witnesses from the jail in an effort to persuade them to testify falsely on his behalf.

     In announcing the verdict, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work performed by those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the FBI. He also acknowledged the efforts of those who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker; Criminal Investigators Mark Crawford, Durand Odom, and John Marsh; Paralegal Specialists Mia Beamon and Benjamin Kagan-Guthrie; David Foster, M. Laverne Forrest, Debra Cannon, and Michael Hailey of the Victim/Witness Assistance Unit; and Information Technology Specialist Leif Hickling. He also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by Michael Ambrosino, Special Counsel for DNA and Forensic Evidence Litigation, and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Chris Dobbie.

     Finally, he praised the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan Kravis and Veronica Sanchez, who investigated and prosecuted the matter.

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Updated February 19, 2015