District Man Pleads Guilty to Killing Two Men Sitting on Park Bench in Downtown Washington While Drunk Driving
WASHINGTON – Jeoffrey R. Williams, 57, of Southeast Washington, DC, pled guilty to two counts of voluntary manslaughter stemming from a traffic collision last July where he struck and killed two men who were sitting on a bench in James Monroe Park on Pennsylvania Avenue NW while driving drunk, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu and Gregory Monahan, Acting Chief of the United States Park Police (USPP).
Williams pled guilty on November 8, 2019, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The plea calls for a sentence of between three to five years in prison for causing each of the two deaths, for a total of between six and ten years. He will sentenced on February 14, 2020, by the Honorable Todd Edelman.
The fatal traffic collision occurred on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at approximately 11:45 p.m. The victims, Dwight Thomas Spriggs and Jesus Llanes-Datil, were sitting on a park bench in James Monroe Park, in the 2000 block of Pennsylvania Avenue NW. At the same time, Williams was driving a 2003 GMC Yukon SUV at a high rate of speed west bound on Pennsylvania Avenue on the wrong side of the street, and sped into the park, striking and killing Mr. Spriggs and Mr. Llanes-Datil. Officers arrived on the scene almost immediately and pulled Williams from the driver’s seat of the wrecked SUV. Both Mr. Spriggs and Mr. Llanes-Datil were killed instantly.
Williams was taken to George Washington University Hospital where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries. While at the hospital, he admitted to police that he had been drinking alcohol earlier in the night, and he consented to have his blood drawn to determine if he was impaired. Hospital staff also drew Williams’ blood for diagnostic purposes and police obtained a search warrant for his blood drawn by hospital staff. Toxicology tests of both the blood drawn with the Williams’ consent and the blood drawn by hospital staff indicated that the he was intoxicated by alcohol when the fatal crash occurred.
Police also obtained a search warrant and recovered the crash data recorder from the GMC Yukon SUV that Williams was driving. Police downloaded the crash data recorder and the recovered data indicated that at 5 seconds before the crash, the defendant was driving the SUV at 63 miles per hour in the 25 mile per hour zone, without braking. Williams accelerated and at 1 second before the crash, he drove the SUV at 68 miles per hour without braking.
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Liu and Acting Chief Monahan commended the work of the officers and detectives who investigated the case from both the United States Park Police and the Metropolitan Police Department. They acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Investigative Analyst Zachary McMenamin, Paralegal Specialist Stephanie Siegerist and Victim/Witness Advocate Jennifer Allen.
Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward A. O’Connell, who prosecuted the case.