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Justice News

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

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

District Man Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison For Carjacking, Other Charges In Attacks In Southeast Washington-Defendant Carjacked Two Vehicles, Including One With A Pregnant Woman-

     WASHINGTON - James Corbin, 64, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 15 years in prison on carjacking, robbery and theft charges in the violent takeover of two cars in a single afternoon, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

     Corbin hijacked one of the cars from a pregnant woman and rode off with her still in the passenger seat. He beat and threatened her until he finally pushed her out of the vehicle.

     Corbin was found guilty by a jury in December 2012, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, of two counts of carjacking, one count of robbery, and one count of first-degree theft. He was sentenced by the Honorable Stuart G. Nash. Upon completion of his prison term, Corbin will be placed on three years of supervised release.

     According to the government’s evidence, the crimes took place on the afternoon of Dec. 16, 2007. Corbin’s first target was a woman who got lost in Southeast Washington while driving her five-year-old daughter to a violin concert.  She saw Corbin walking, pulled up to him, and asked for directions. Without warning, Corbin jumped into the passenger seat, claiming that he lived near her destination and that he would provide directions as she kept driving.

     Fighting against her impulse to believe she was in a dangerous situation, the woman drove with Corbin for about 10 minutes until he told her to slow down inside Fort Dupont Park.  She did so, and Corbin tried to grab the keys from the ignition. When he couldn’t get the keys, Corbin got out of the car, went to the driver’s side door, and attempted to pull the woman out of the vehicle. As this was happening, two people pulled up behind her and ran towards the scene. Corbin ran off into the woods and got away. Corbin left behind some blood smears in the car.

     Less than 30 minutes later, Corbin got into the front seat of another car that was parked near a gas station in the 2500 block of Pennsylvania Avenue SE.  The victim, who was three months pregnant, was in the passenger seat while her boyfriend was inside the gas station.

     Corbin approached the car, made eye contact, and suddenly got into the driver’s seat, yelling for the woman to exit the vehicle. The victim opened her door and tried to yell to her boyfriend for help.  In response, Corbin punched her in the chest, pulled the door closed, and sped off with her still in the car.  As he did so, Corbin told the woman, “…you should have gotten out.  Now I’m going to kill you.” He said that he had a gun and would shoot her. 

     As they sped along the street, the victim tried to look behind the car, in hopes that someone might be following them and trying to help.  As she did so, Corbin punched her in the face and demanded that she sit down. He then punched her in the stomach. The victim feared for her life and prayed for the safety of herself and the baby she was carrying.  She remembered that she had a bottle of ginger ale in the car, and poured it onto her lap.  She pleaded with Corbin, “I’m pregnant!  I’m bleeding!  I’m having a miscarriage!”  This gave Corbin momentary pause.  He slowed down the car– but did not stop – and pushed her out of the vehicle. 

     No arrest was made that day.  DNA eventually linked Corbin to the blood left on the car at Fort Dupont Park. Follow-up investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Park Police established that Corbin was the source of that blood. Further investigation led to charges in both carjackings.  

     In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of the U.S. Park Police and the Metropolitan Police Department. He also acknowledged the assistance of the FBI’s laboratory analysts and the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Services. He expressed appreciation to those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Theresa Nelson and Antoinette Sakamsa; Supervisory Paralegal Specialist Lesley Slade; Litigation Technology Specialist Leif Hickling; Jim Brennan, of the Victim Assistance Unit, and John Cummings, Chief of the Felony Major Crimes Section.  Finally, he commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Erik Kenerson and Peter Lallas, who investigated and tried the case.


Updated February 19, 2015