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Press Release

District Man Pleads Guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter In October 2016 Assault

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia

     WASHINGTON – Victor Purdie, 56, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to a charge stemming from an incident in October 2016 in which he repeatedly kicked and punched another man in the face, causing the victim’s death a few months later, U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips announced.


     Purdie pled guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to one count of voluntary manslaughter. The Honorable Jose M. Lopez scheduled sentencing for July 28, 2017.


     According to the government’s evidence, during the early morning hours of October 2, 2016, Purdie briefly interacted with the victim, Richard Lewis, in front of Union Station at 50 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E. At some point, a dispute arose and Purdie punched Mr. Lewis, who immediately fell to the ground. Purdie proceeded to repeatedly kick and punch Mr. Lewis, who had been rendered unconscious and was motionless throughout the assault. An occupant in a nearby vehicle sounded the car’s horn in an attempt to alert Purdie so that he would stop his assault. Purdie then kicked Mr. Lewis once more and fled the scene.


     Members of the Metropolitan Police Department were dispatched to the area, as were members of the D.C. Fire and EMS Department. Mr. Lewis was transported to a local hospital, where he was admitted in critical condition as a result of suffering a fractured skull and severe hemorrhaging in his head. He never regained consciousness and was subsequently transferred to a long-term healthcare facility. On January 6, 2017, Mr. Lewis succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead.


     In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Phillips commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. He also expressed appreciation for the efforts of Paralegal Specialists Zekiah Wright and Kelly Blakeney, Victim/Witness Specialist Marcia Rinker and Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles J. Willoughby, Jr., who investigated and prosecuted the matter.

Updated May 24, 2017

Press Release Number: 17-117