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Justice News

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

Friday, February 21, 2014

District Man Sentenced To 18 Years In Prison For Beating Man To Death With BarbellAttack Took Place On Weekend Afternoon, On Busy Public Sidewalk

     WASHINGTON – Jeffrey Mills, 52, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 18 years in prison for beating a man to death with a barbell in an attack in Northwest Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

     Mills was found guilty by a jury in November 2013, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, of charges of voluntary manslaughter while armed and carrying a dangerous weapon. He was sentenced by the Honorable John Ramsey Johnson. Mills was sentenced to 18 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter while armed and three years for carrying a dangerous weapon.  The sentences will run concurrent to one another.  Upon completion of his prison term, Mills will be placed on five years of supervised release.

     According to the government’s evidence, the victim, Juan Antonio Paredes, 45, was with several friends on the afternoon of Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012 on the Park Road sidewalk near the intersection with 14th Street NW.  Mills, a local street vendor who would often park his van on Park Road and sell wares from a table he set up on the sidewalk, was also out that afternoon. 

     For no discernible reason, at about 1:55 p.m., Mills grabbed a long, 15-pound barbell that he often used to lift weights during the day. He then rushed at Mr. Paredes, striking him broadside in the back and then again in the back of the head, as if he was swinging a baseball bat.  Before the attack, Mr. Paredes was talking with friends and had his back to the defendant. 

     Mr. Paredes, who did not see the attack coming, crumbled and fell against a cement bike rack and then to the ground.  As he lay defenseless on his back, Mills stood over him and continued to jab him in the chest and abdomen with the end of the barbell. He also kicked him about the body.  Witnesses described how the defendant struck Mr. Paredes about the body five to 10 times while Mr. Paredes was on the ground.  At the time of the offense, Mills repeatedly yelled that Mr. Paredes had attacked him with a knife. However, as multiple witnesses testified during trial, Mr. Paredes was not threatening Mills in any way before he was attacked.

     In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the officers, detectives, mobile crime lab technicians, and other personnel who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department. He also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences, and other agencies. He acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Intelligence Specialist Zachary McMenamin; Information Technology Specialists Jeanie Latimore-Brown and Thomas “Ron” Royal; Supervisory Information Technology Specialist Joe Calvarese; Victim/Witness Advocate Christina Principe; Supervisory Victim/Witness Services Coordinator David Foster, and Paralegal Specialist Alesha Matthews Yette. Finally, he thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin O. Lyons, who prosecuted the case.


Updated February 19, 2015