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Press Release

District Man Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison For 2020 Slaying in Northeast Washington

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Shooting Took Place During Marijuana Transaction

            WASHINGTON – Knico Wheaton, 25, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 11 years in prison for his role in the slaying of a man during a drug deal in Northeast Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Wheaton pleaded guilty in January 2022, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to a charge of voluntary manslaughter while armed. The plea, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for a sentence of 7 ½ to 12 years. The Honorable Milton C. Lee, Jr. accepted the plea and sentenced Wheaton accordingly. Following his prison term, Wheaton will be placed on five years of supervised release.

            According to the government’s evidence, Wheaton arranged on Jan. 11, 2020, to purchase marijuana from the victim’s cousin. The victim, Tavon Cox, drove from Baltimore to Washington to make the delivery later that day. At approximately 8 p.m., Mr. Cox met with Wheaton at a pre-arranged location in the 700 block of 24th Street NE. Wheaton and another individual approached Mr. Cox’s vehicle and asked to smell the marijuana. Mr. Cox, still in the car with a passenger who accompanied him on the trip, permitted them to do so.

            At that point, Wheaton and/or his accomplice reached into a coat pocket to retrieve a firearm and immediately shot at Mr. Cox, striking his head. Wheaton and his accomplice then fled the scene together with the marijuana that they had taken from Mr. Cox. Mr. Cox, 41, died from the gunshots.

            Wheaton was arrested on April 28, 2020. He has been detained ever since.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Graves and Chief Contee commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Advocate Christina Bloodworth, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sitara Witanachchi and Prava Palacharla, who investigated and prosecuted the matter.

Updated June 16, 2022

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 22-184