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Justice News

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

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

District Man Indicted on Murder and Other Charges In July 4, 2015 Slaying of Kevin Sutherland

Defendant Accused of Attacking Victim, Robbing Two Other Passengers, and Assaulting a Fourth Passenger on Metrorail Train

            WASHINGTON – Jasper Spires, 19, of Washington, D.C., has been indicted on murder and other charges stemming from the July 4, 2015 slaying of Kevin Sutherland on a Metrorail train, U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips announced today. Spires also was indicted on charges involving the robberies of two other passengers and an assault of a fourth victim on the train.

            Spires was indicted on May 10, 2016 by a grand jury in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia on charges of first-degree murder while armed (premeditated and felony murder), with aggravating circumstances; assault with a dangerous weapon; armed robbery of a senior citizen; armed robbery, and carrying a weapon outside a home or business.

            Spires is to be arraigned on May 13, 2016 at a hearing before the Honorable Robert E. Morin. He faces a maximum of life in prison.

            According to the government’s evidence, on July 4, 2015, at about 12:50 p.m., Spires was among people on a Metrorail train approaching the NOMA/Gallaudet University station, in the 200 block of Florida Avenue NE. While on the train, Spires is accused of attempting to rob Mr. Sutherland, 24, and repeatedly and fatally stabbing him. He also is charged with robbing two others on the train, including a senior citizen, and assaulting a fourth passenger.

            Following the attacks, Spires allegedly walked off the train and left the station. He was arrested on July 6, 2015 and has been in custody ever since.

            At the time of the alleged offenses, Spires was on release in a pending assault case in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

            An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.

            In announcing the charges, U.S. Attorney Phillips commended the work of those investigating the case from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the Metro Transit Police. He also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences and Bode Cellmark Forensics. He acknowledged the efforts of those who are working on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Criminal Investigators Durand Odom and Mark Crawford; Investigative Analyst Zachary McMenamin; Victim/Witness Advocate Jennifer Clark; Paralegal Specialists Karen Hansen and Kelly Blakeney, and former Paralegal Specialist Vanessa Trent-Valentine. Finally, he commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christine Macey and Kathryn Rakoczy, who are investigating and prosecuting the case.

Press Release Number: 
Updated May 11, 2016