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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 4, 2022

District Man Found Guilty by Jury of Second-Degree Murder for Killing Woman at Her Apartment

Victim’s Body Has Never Been Found

            WASHINGTON – Darnell Sterling, 57, of Washington, D.C., has been found guilty by a jury of charges stemming from the murder of his girlfriend, whose body has never been recovered, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Sterling was found guilty on Oct. 3, 2022, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, of second-degree murder and a related charge of contempt. He is to be sentenced on Feb. 3, 2023, by the Honorable Maribeth Raffinan.

            According to the government’s evidence, in the early morning hours of July 17, 2020, Sterling fatally attacked the victim, Olga Ooro, 34, inside her apartment in the 300 block of Massachusetts Avenue NW. Ms. Ooro’s body has never been found.  Sterling killed Ms. Ooro while her seven-year-old son was asleep, in the apartment, in his own bedroom.  He cleaned up the crime scene and left the building.  He then returned the next night and used Ms. Ooro’s keys to enter the building and retrieve the body from a hidden location.  He then loaded the body into his car and disposed of it.

            Ms. Ooro was reported missing after her son was found wandering the apartment building. 

            At the time of the murder, Sterling was under a court order to stay away from Ms. Ooro, following his arrest for assaulting her on April 20, 2020.

            Sterling was arrested in the murder case on July 23, 2020. He has been in custody ever since.

            In announcing the verdict, U.S. Attorney Graves and Chief Contee commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. They also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the FBI, the Maryland State Police, the Ocean City, Maryland, Police Department, the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences, and Bode Technology.  They acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Supervisory Paralegal Specialist Tasha Harris; Paralegal Specialist Stephanie Gilbert; Investigative Analyst Zachary McMenamin; Victim/Witness Advocate Christina Bloodworth; former Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker; Maenylie Watson, Tonya Jones, and Katina Adams-Washington, of the Victim/Witness Assistance Unit; Supervisory Litigation Technology Specialist Leif Hickling; Litigation Technology Specialist Maisha Treadwell, and Intern Ahna Halpern.

            Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Liebman and Kristian Hinson, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

 

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
22-332
Updated October 4, 2022