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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 18, 2014

District Man Sentenced To 16 Years In Prison For Shooting That Seriously Wounded Eight-Year-Old GirlGunfire Followed Attempted Robbery In Middle Of Afternoon At Southeast Washington Apartment Building

     WASHINGTON – Karie Brown, 20, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 16 years in prison for a shooting outside an apartment building in Southeast Washington that seriously wounded an eight-year-old girl, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

     Brown pled guilty in October 2014, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to charges of aggravated assault while armed; assault with intent to rob while armed, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The plea, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for a sentence of 14 ½ to 21 ½ years in prison. The Honorable Rhonda Reid Winston accepted the plea and sentenced Brown today. Upon completion of his prison term, Brown will be placed on five years of supervised release.

     A co-defendant, Nathaniel Patten, 22, also of Washington, D.C., pled guilty in November 2014 to charges of assault with intent to commit robbery while armed and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He is to be sentenced March 5, 2015.

     “An innocent eight-year-old girl, playing in the snow on a day off from school, was struck by a bullet of a man trying to rob a marijuana dealer,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “She was nearly killed by the reckless actions of violent men with no regard for the safety of others. We only hope that this sentence brings some comfort and closure to this little girl, her family, and our community.”

     According to the government’s evidence, Brown and Patten decided on the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 to rob an individual they believed sold marijuana. Brown and Patten were armed with a .22-caliber Ruger semi-automatic pistol, which Brown was carrying. The men headed to the 1200 block of Valley Avenue SE, an area they knew that the individual had frequented.

     Brown and Patten pretended to be waiting to gain access to a locked apartment building on the block. The eight-year-old girl – who was going outside to play in the snow - held the door open for them. Brown and Patten then followed the individual who they were targeting into the building as he went upstairs. They then attempted to rob him and gain access to an apartment that he was about to enter. The individual escaped and ran downstairs. Brown shot once at the individual while inside the building and then fired multiple shots at him outside.

     The shots missed the individual, but hit the girl in the torso.

     The bullet that hit the child struck inches from her heart. It caused severe bleeding, and she was rushed to an emergency room and placed in critical care. She required immediate surgery and could have died but for the timely intervention of medical assistance.

     According to the government’s evidence, Brown and Patten fled together, not stopping to provide any assistance to their young victim, and Brown discarded the firearm, which was found by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). The defendants were both found and arrested soon after the shooting in the 3500 block of Wheeler Road SE. After his arrest, Brown gave an interview to law enforcement and admitted that he had attempted to rob the individual and that he shot at that person outside the building.

     The firearms charge stemmed from the fact that Brown had previously been convicted of a charge of conspiracy to commit robbery, in an unrelated case.

     In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Muyiwa Bamiduro; Paralegal Specialist Theresa Nelson; Victim/Witness Advocate Jennifer Clark, and Victim/Witness Security Specialist Tanya Via. Finally, he expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tejpal S. Chawla and Kendra Briggs, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

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Updated February 19, 2015