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Press Release

District Man Pleads Guilty to Murder Charge Related to 2016 Shooting in Northeast Washington

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Second Defendant Earlier Pled Guilty in Case

            WASHINGTON – Nathaniel Taylor, 23, of Washington D.C., has pled guilty to a charge of second-degree murder while armed stemming from his involvement in a confrontation that ended with him shooting the victim in the back of the head, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Taylor pled guilty on Dec. 10, 2018, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The plea calls for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. He is to be sentenced on March 8, 2019, by the Honorable Juliet McKenna.

            According to a proffer of facts submitted at the plea hearing, the shooting took place at approximately 10:38 p.m. on April 23, 2016 in the 4900 block of Just Street NE. The victim, Nuru Frenche, had travelled with a friend to meet with Taylor and his co-defendant, Anthony Blackmone, for the purpose of purchasing firearms. Both of the victims were unarmed.

            After Mr. Frenche exited the car holding at least $500 in cash, Taylor initiated a confrontation with him. The confrontation ended with Taylor firing his weapon at Mr. Frenche and shooting him in the back of the head. Mr. Frenche’s friend escaped. Shortly thereafter, officers from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Seventh District responded to the scene and located Mr. Frenche, 23, who died from his wounds a few days later.

            Blackmone, 23, of Washington, D.C., was arrested in May of 2016 and pled guilty earlier this year to charges of voluntary manslaughter and attempted robbery for his role in the crimes. . Taylor was arrested in February of 2017 and has remained incarcerated ever since.

            In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Liu and Chief Newsham commended the work of those who investigated the case from 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; Forensic Examiner John Marsh; Paralegal Specialists Stephanie Gilbert, Meridith McGarrity, and Stephanie Siegerist; Litigation Technology Specialist Leif Hickling; Victim/Witness Service Coordinators Katina Adams-Washington and LaJune Thames, Witness Security Specialist M. LaVerne Perry, and Victim/Witness Advocate James Brennan.

            Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gilead Light and John Timmer, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Updated December 11, 2018

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 18-340