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Press Release

District Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for 2022 Slaying on I-295 and 2020 Assault

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Took the Life of Mother of Six

            WASHINGTON – Gregory Johnson, 31, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 20 years in prison for killing a woman on Interstate 295 in February 2022 and for threatening a different woman with a gun in 2020, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

          Johnson pleaded guilty in June 2022, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to charges of second-degree murder, carrying a pistol without a license, and assault with a dangerous weapon. The plea, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for a sentence of 13 ½ to 22 years. The Honorable Robert Okun accepted the plea and sentenced Johnson accordingly. Following his prison term, Johnson will be placed on five years of supervised release.

          According to the government’s evidence in the 2020 assault, Johnson messaged the victim, the mother of his infant child, on Aug. 31, 2020, stating that he wanted to see her. As the victim drove toward her house with their daughter in the backseat, Johnson followed in his vehicle. As they approached a narrow, residential street in Northeast Washington, Johnson swerved in front of her and forced her to stop. He then exited his vehicle, loaded a handgun, and pointed it at the victim, demanding that she give their daughter to him. The victim was able to maneuver her car away from Johnson and she fled to safety with the child.

            Separately, in the 2022 murder, Johnson picked up Passion Pleasant and drove with her down I-295 on the morning of Feb. 5, 2022. Johnson was wearing a GPS ankle monitor as a condition of his release in the previous assault case. At some point during the drive, Johnson produced a firearm and shot Ms. Pleasant five times in the chest, fatally wounding her. She left the vehicle and collapsed on the shoulder of the highway, where she was assisted by several passing motorists. Ms. Pleasant, 32, and a mother of six children, succumbed to her injuries on the highway and died a few minutes later.

            Johnson was arrested on the scene of the murder on Feb. 5, 2022. He has been detained ever since.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Graves and Chief Contee commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Advocate Amy Trotto, Forensic Child Interview Specialist Tracy Owusu, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gregory Kimak, Robert Platt, Yasmin Emrani, and Eliot Folsom, who investigated and prosecuted the matter.

Updated September 13, 2022

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 22-280