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Press Release

District Man Sentenced to 11½ Years in Prison for Killing Man on Busy Street in Northeast Washington

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Victim, Former Morehouse College Football Player, Accosted on Street Just Six Days Before Christmas

            WASHINGTON – Jerome Alexander, 28, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to a prison term of 11 ½ years for killing a man in December 2019 in a busy commercial shopping area in Northeast Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Alexander pleaded guilty in June 2022, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to charges of voluntary manslaughter while armed and unlawful possession of a firearm. The plea, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for a sentence of 9½ to 14 years. The Honorable Maribeth Raffinan accepted the plea and sentenced Alexander accordingly. Following his prison term, Alexander will be placed on five years of supervised release.

            According to the government’s evidence, on Dec. 19, 2019, shortly before 4 p.m., Alexander, armed with an illegal firearm, approached Richard Washington on a pedestrian-filled sidewalk in front of a variety store in the 3900 block of Minnesota Avenue NE. Mr. Washington had shopped inside the store and was walking back to his car in a parking lot. Alexander attempted to force Mr. Washington to give him his property. As Alexander walked towards him, Mr. Washington tried to walk away, but Alexander continued to follow him.

            Mr. Washington kept trying to create separation between himself and Alexander and told Alexander that he didn’t have anything. Alexander, however, continued to stalk Mr. Washington, who eventually swung his arm at Alexander, but his arm did not connect and thus, did not strike Alexander. Others on the street began to run away from the two as Alexander, with his right hand still in his right coat pocket, continued towards Mr. Washington. As Mr. Washington walked away from Alexander in front of the windows of the store, Alexander took out his firearm and shot Mr. Washington in the torso. Alexander then sprinted towards Benning Road NE, and fled. Shoppers and pedestrians ran in fear at the sound of the shooting, running across the busy intersection on Minnesota Avenue, and away from the perceived danger. Some stayed to call for help. Mr. Washington, 28, died from his injuries later that day.

            Alexander was arrested on Dec. 31, 2019. He has been detained ever since.

            Mr. Washington, at 6’8” in height, was known as Big Rich to his Morehouse College Football teammates, where in 2012 and 2013 he donned the number 74. To his family and friends, he was a gentle giant and beloved family member.

            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 Jennifer Clark, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrea Coronado and Melissa Jackson, who investigated and prosecuted the matter.

Updated September 9, 2022

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 22-287