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Press Release

District Man Sentenced To 17 Years In Prison For Shooting Store Manager During Attempted Robbery-Victim, Shot In The Back, Remains Partially Paralyzed-

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia

     WASHINGTON – Ricky Vinston, 55, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 17 years in prison for shooting a store manager in the back during an attempted robbery of a drugstore in Northeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

     Vinston pled guilty in October 2013, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to aggravated assault while armed and assault with intent to rob while armed against two separate victims. The plea agreement, which called for a sentence of 13 to 17 years in prison, was contingent upon the approval of the Honorable Patricia A. Broderick. Upon completion of his prison term, Vinston will be placed on five years of supervised release.

     According to the government’s evidence, on April 13, 2012, at approximately 12:25 p.m., Vinston entered a Rite Aid store in the 1400 block of Rhode Island Avenue NE. He approached a clerk and asked about the price of a pack of candy. While the clerk worked to verify the price, Vinston brandished a handgun and demanded the money from the store’s cash register. The clerk fled, and Vinston began attempting to open the cash register himself.

     At this point, the store’s manager walked towards the defendant to try and prevent any violence. Vinston told the manager he had two minutes to open the cash register. When the manager struggled to get it open, Vinston counted to three, cocked his firearm, and fired once at close range. The manager, hit in the back, fell to the floor. He was later rushed to the hospital, where he received emergency surgery to repair the damage to his spine caused by the bullet. Since the shooting, the manager remains partially paralyzed from the waist down and must use a wheelchair.

     Vinston was arrested a week after the attack.

     In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen recognized the efforts of the detectives and officers from the Metropolitan Police Department, whose investigation revealed the defendant’s identity as the shooter.  He also acknowledged the efforts of Paralegal Specialist Kalisha Clark. Finally, he commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jim Smith and Nicholas Cannon, who investigated and secured the indictment in the case, and James Ewing, who handled post-plea litigation and sentencing.


Updated February 19, 2015