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Press Release

District Man Pleads Guilty to Charges in Fatal Stabbing at Northwest Washington Bar and Grill

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Also Stabbed and Wounded Two Other Victims

             WASHINGTON – Antoine Byrd, 38, of Washington, D.C., has pled guilty to fatally stabbing one man and wounding two others at a bar and grill in Northwest Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Byrd pled guilty on Oct. 3, 2018, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to charges of voluntary manslaughter while armed and assault with a dangerous weapon. The plea, which is contingent upon the Court’s approval, calls for an agreed-upon sentence in the range of 10 to 14 years. The Honorable Craig Iscoe set a hearing for Jan. 11, 2019, to determine whether to accept the plea and sentencing range.

            According to a proffer of facts submitted at the plea hearing, the stabbing took place at approximately 11:40 p.m. on Jan. 31, 2016.  That evening, the homicide victim, Robinson Pal, 32, had been with friends at the “Bar Code” bar and restaurant, in the 1100 block of 17th Street NW. Byrd was also at the club that night.  At some point during the evening, Mr. Pal pointed out Byrd to his friends, and accused Byrd of having previously robbed him. 

            A short time later, Mr. Pal and Byrd encountered one another again.  This time, they got into a physical altercation, and at some point, Byrd yelled, “I’m going to kill you.” Byrd then stabbed Mr. Pal one time in his chest area.  Mr. Pal slumped over and fell to the floor.  During that altercation, Byrd also stabbed a second man in the back, and a third man in the hand. Both of those victims survived.

            Byrd then fled the scene on foot. He was later identified by individuals who had been at the establishment that night.  DNA evidence also linked Byrd to the handle of the knife that was recovered on scene from underneath Mr. Pal. Byrd was arrested on Feb. 17, 2016, and has been in custody ever since.

            Mr. Pal died from his injuries on Feb. 1, 2016.

            In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Liu and Chief Newsham commended the work of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). They also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences. They acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laura A. Bach and David Gorman, Investigative Analyst Zachary McMenamin, Paralegal Specialist Kelly Blakeney, and Victim/Witness Advocate Jennifer Clark.

            Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey Nestler, Alicia Long, and Ellen D’Angelo, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Updated October 4, 2018

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 18-270