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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 2, 2019

District Man Sentenced to 15 Months as Part of Law Enforcement’s Effort to Prosecute Offenders Who Escape from Halfway Houses

           WASHINGTON – Freddie Curtis, 31, of Southeast Washington, D.C., was sentenced yesterday to 15 months in prison for escaping from the Hope Village Halfway House, located in Southeast, Washington, D.C.

           The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Lamont Ruffin, United States Marshal for the District of Columbia (USMS), and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

           Curtis pled guilty on April 24, 2019, before the Honorable Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of escape from custody. Judge Kollar-Kotelly sentenced Curtis to 15 months of prison to be followed by one year of supervised release.

           Curtis’ sentence highlights the ongoing efforts of the United States Attorney’s Office and the USMS to prosecute felony offenders who escape from halfway houses. These offenders are under the supervision of the Federal Bureau of Prisons and are afforded the opportunity to complete the final portion of their sentences at halfway houses to assist their reentry into the community. In 2017, the USMS requested the assistance of the United States Attorney’s Office with the investigation, prosecution, and disposition of an increased number of escape cases. To date, the United States Attorney’s Office has obtained dozens of felony convictions of defendants who either failed to report to or absconded from the Hope Village Halfway House. 

           According to the Government’s evidence, on September 7, 2017, Curtis was convicted of one count of Felony Bail Reform Act and one count of attempted distribution of cocaine, and was sentenced by a D.C. Superior Court judge to 26 months of prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release. As part of the defendant’s sentence, he was permitted to complete the remainder of his sentence at Hope Village Halfway House.

           On December 13, 2018, the defendant arrived at Hope Village to complete the remainder of his sentence. On January 15, 2019, Curtis signed out of the Hope Village facility, and although he was supposed to return later that day, he never returned. Curtis was arrested weeks later by MPD on new criminal charges.   

           In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu, Marshal Ruffin, and Chief Newsham commended the work of those who investigated the case. They also cited the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Mervin A. Bourne, Jr. and Paralegal Katie Thomas of the Violent Crime and Narcotics Trafficking Section.

Press Release Number: 
19-135
Updated August 2, 2019