Skip to main content
Press Release

District Man Pleads Guilty to Murder Charges in Slayings of Two Housemates in Northeast Washington

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Victims Were Watching Television When Suddenly Attacked

            WASHINGTON – David Bright, 31, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to two counts of second-degree murder while armed in the slayings of two of his housemates at their rooming house in Northeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu announced.

            Bright pled guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The plea, which is contingent upon the Court’s approval, calls for an agreed-upon sentence of 33 years in prison. The Honorable Ronna L. Beck scheduled sentencing for May 11, 2018. 

            According to a proffer of facts submitted at today’s plea hearing, on Feb. 18, 2016, Bright was staying in a rooming house in the 500 block of 58th Street NE. The victims, Clifton Francis and David Watkins, were Bright’s housemates.  Two other individuals were also staying in the home at the time, one permanently and one temporarily. 

            At approximately 12:55 p.m., Bright entered the house, where Mr. Francis and Mr. Watkins were sitting in the living room watching television; one of the other housemates was in the kitchen.  Bright went upstairs, where his bedroom was located, and then came running down the stairs.  He pointed a gun in the direction of Mr. Francis and began firing at close range. 

            Mr. Francis, who received multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and head, immediately slumped over the arm of the couch and fell to the floor.  Mr. Watkins started yelling words to the effect of “what are doing, are you crazy?” Bright then turned the gun towards Mr. Watkins and began firing, hitting him in the chest. Mr. Watkins managed to crawl to his bedroom, and yelled for the remaining housemate to call the police. Bright ran into the kitchen and came face-to-face with this housemate. He pointed the gun at his face, but the housemate was able to run into a bedroom and closed the door. Bright then fled the house. 

            The next day, Feb. 19, 2016, at approximately 10:40 a.m., Bright was arrested by the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force as he walked out of a barbershop in Seat Pleasant, Maryland.  Bright was exiting the barbershop after having shaved off his dreadlocks.  He has remained in custody since his arrest.

            Bright had driven a Mitsubishi Galant to the barber shop. Officers searched the car and recovered the murder weapon, a Glock 22 .40 caliber firearm, as well as 91 rounds of ammunition and three firearm magazines (two full, one empty). 

            Mr. Watkins, 45, and Mr. Francis, 51, both died as a result of the gunshot wounds.

            In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Liu commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. She also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force and the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences. She acknowledged the work of those who handled the case at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Magdalena Acevedo, Victim/Witness Advocate Jim Brennan, and former Paralegal Specialist Kendra Johnson. Finally, she commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberley C. Nielsen, who investigated and prosecuted the matter.


Updated February 21, 2018

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 18-39