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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 17, 2015

District Man Pleads Guilty to Second-Degree Murder While Armed In Shooting of Cousin in Northeast Washington

After Shooting the Victim, Defendant Barricaded Himself for Over 30 Hours

            WASHINGTON – Roosevelt Robinson, 67, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to a charge of second-degree murder while armed stemming from the shooting death last summer of his cousin, U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips announced.

            Robinson pled guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He is to be sentenced on Feb. 26, 2016, by the Honorable Michael Ryan.

            According to the government’s evidence, on Friday, Aug. 21, 2015, at approximately 10:35 a.m., Robinson rode his bicycle to the house of his cousin, Loretta Carswell, 63, in the 3700 block of 18th Street NE.  He confronted Ms. Carswell outside, accusing her of stealing a ring from him that he intended to give to his daughter.  This was an ongoing accusation based on a time when Ms. Carswell safeguarded some of Robinson’s valuables.  Every time this issue had been raised, Ms. Carswell denied knowing what Robinson was talking about.

            When Robinson confronted Ms. Carswell on Aug. 21, 2015 and asked her about the ring, Ms. Carswell said she did not have it and gave Robinson a look that he interpreted as dismissive.  Robinson told her: “Girl, you know I should kill you for doing what you did.”  Ms. Carswell responded by saying, “You can go ahead and kill me if you want to, I done told you I don’t have your ring.”  At that point, Robinson pulled out a Ruger .357-caliber Magnum revolver and shot Ms. Carswell one time in the head in front of her home. The bullet entered her forehead.

            Immediately after the shooting, Robinson rode his bicycle down the street to his home in the 3600 block of 18th Street NE.  Robinson barricaded himself inside until the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) was able to arrest him approximately 30 hours later.  In an interview with the police, Robinson confessed to shooting his cousin in the head.

            In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Phillips commended the work of the detectives of the Criminal Investigations Division Homicide Branch, crime scene officers, and the Fifth Police District of the Metropolitan Police Department.  He also expressed appreciation to those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Marcia Rinker of the Victim/Witness Assistance Unit and Paralegal Specialist Vanessa Trent-Valentine.  He also praised the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Macey, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Press Release Number: 
15-244
Updated February 4, 2016