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Press Release

District Man Pleads Guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia

            WASHINGTON – Edward Banks, 47, of Washington, DC pled guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter.  The incident occurred on August 18, 2019 at the homeless shelter located at 2700 Martin Luther King Avenue, SE, U.S. Attorney Timothy Shea announced.

            Banks pled guilty on February 24, 2020, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.  The plea calls for a sentence of five years in prison for killing the decedent.  He will be sentenced on March 16, 2020 by the Honorable Juliet McKenna.

            The defendant entered the homeless shelter in the early morning hours of August 18, 2019.  At a certain point, the defendant was walking down a hallway in the shelter when he came upon the decedent, Mr. Abraham Weldemichael, who was standing outside the bathroom door.   The defendant became angry at the decedent and took an aggressive posture towards Mr. Weldemichael.  The defendant then punched Mr. Weldemichael in the face once and fled the scene.  Mr. Weldemichael collapsed to the ground and did not move.  Mr. Weldemichael’s unconscious body was on the ground for approximately six minutes until he was eventually discovered by security staff.   Medical personnel arrived at the scene and Mr. Weldemichael was transported to George Washington Hospital.  Upon arrival, he was admitted in critical condition and it was determined that he was suffering from swelling and bleeding in the brain.   He eventually succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead on August 21, 2019 at 2:32 am. 

            In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Shea commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Criminal Investigations Division Homicide Branch of the Metropolitan Police Department.  He acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Lashone Samuels; Victim Witness Specialist Jennifer Allen and Investigative Analyst Zachary McMenamin. 

            Finally, U.S. Attorney Shea commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Shehzad Akhtar who investigated and prosecuted the matter.

Updated February 27, 2020

Press Release Number: 20-036