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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

District Man Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder, Admits Setting Victim On Fire-Attack Took Place In June 2013 In Southeast Washington-

     WASHINGTON – Shawn Lewis, 41, of Washington D.C., pled guilty today to a charge of second-degree murder for killing a man in June 2013 by setting him on fire at an apartment building in Southeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

     Lewis pled guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Under terms of the plea agreement, the parties each agreed to recommend a sentence between 16 years and 24 years in prison. The Honorable Russell F. Canan scheduled sentencing for Oct. 18, 2013.

     According to the government’s evidence, at about 6:25 p.m. on June 28, 2013, Lewis returned to the apartment building where he was living in the 1600 block of 21st Place SE. He then went to the back porch of the building, holding a lit piece of newspaper and a container of ignitable liquid.  Lewis threw the liquid on the victim, Douglas Farley, 38, who was on the back porch. He ignited the liquid with the lit newspaper, engulfing Mr. Farley in flames.  Lewis was arrested on the scene at about 9:25 that evening.

     Mr. Farley was taken to the Washington Hospital Center, where he died on July 3, 2013. A post-mortem examination determined that Mr. Farley died as a result of complications from thermal and inhalation injuries sustained by the flames.

     In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the work of the detectives, officers, and crime scene technicians who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department.  He also commended the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Debra Joyner, Victim/Witness Advocate Jennifer Clark, and Intelligence Specialist Sharon Johnson. Finally, he recognized the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Philip Selden, Kathryn Rakoczy, and Jonathan Kravis, who investigated and prosecuted the case.


Updated February 19, 2015