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Press Release

District Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Killing One Woman and Wounding Another

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Shootings Took Place in Northeast Washington Apartment, in Front of a Child

            WASHINGTON – Vaughn Kosh, 50, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 20 years in prison for killing one woman and shooting another after breaking into a neighbor’s apartment in Northeast Washington, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Kosh pleaded guilty in July 2021, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to charges of second-degree murder while armed, aggravated assault while armed, assault with a dangerous weapon, and simple assault. The plea, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for an agreed-upon prison term of 15 to 20 years. The Honorable Marisa Demeo accepted the plea and sentenced the defendant accordingly. Following his prison term, Kosh will be placed on five years of supervised release.

            According to the government’s evidence, on Dec. 7, 2019, at approximately 5:15 a.m., Kosh accosted a man who was entering an apartment building in the 1700 block of Capitol Avenue NE. He then forced his way into an apartment unit that the man was entering. During this assault, Kosh fired a shot at the man and then stabbed him with a knife. The man then raced outside to summon police.

            In addition to the man, three people were inside the apartment at the time that Kosh barged inside: Alayna Howard, who was an amputee, her 12-year-old son, and Ms. Howard's female relative. Kosh first shot the female relative – who was sitting in a wheelchair in the living room – in the face and neck and then went to the bedroom and fatally shot Ms. Howard. The child pleaded, “Please don’t get me,” and Kosh responded, “If I wanted to get you, I would like I did your mom.”

            Ms. Howard, 38, was pronounced dead at the scene. Kosh was arrested soon after the shootings in another apartment in the building.

            In announcing the sentence, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillips and Chief Contee commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Forensic Interviewer Tracy Owusu, Victim/Witness Advocate Marcey Rinker, and Paralegal Specialist Stephanie Siegerist. Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Monica Trigoso and Prava Palacharla, who investigated and prosecuted the matter.


Updated October 8, 2021

Violent Crime