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Press Release

District Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison For Two Violent Attacks, Including a Murder

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Crimes Took Place Within Five-Week Period

            WASHINGTON - Jamil Betts, 26, of Washington, D.C., has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for a pair of violent attacks in Southeast Washington, including a murder, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu announced today.


            Betts pled guilty in December 2015, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to charges of second-degree murder and assault with a dangerous weapon.  The plea, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for a prison term of 20 years on both charges.

The Honorable Michael Ryan accepted the plea and sentenced Betts on Sept. 22, 2017. Following his prison term, Betts will be placed on five years of supervised release.


            According to the government’s evidence, the murder victim, Andre McConnell, 26, was with friends in the 3100 block of Buena Vista Terrace SE on April 27, 2015.  At around 8:30 that night, Mr. McConnell engaged in a brief verbal argument with an unidentified individual.  Shortly thereafter, Betts approached Mr. McConnell and the group with whom Mr. McConnell was gathered.  Betts took out a gun, aimed and fired it at Mr. McConnell, and struck Mr. McConnell twice in the lower back.  A second individual also was hit with one gunshot wound to the leg.  Mr. McConnell was transported to Prince George’s Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.


            In the second case, the government’s evidence showed, on the afternoon of May 29, 2015, Betts and another individual approached a woman and her daughter at gunpoint in the area of the 3400 block of A Street SE.  Betts, holding the gun, and the other individual attempted to force their way into the woman’s apartment, which was occupied by other individuals.  After realizing that the victims called 911, Betts and the other individual attempted to leave the area by car.  In the process of driving away from the scene, Betts, who was seated in the front passenger side of the vehicle, aimed his gun at one of the victims outside the apartment building and fired one shot, nearly hitting the victim.


            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu commended the work of the detectives of the Criminal Investigations Division, crime scene officers, and the Sixth and Seventh Police District of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).  She also expressed appreciation to those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Advocates Yvonne Bryant, Jennifer Clark, and Shawn Slade; Victim/Witness Services Coordinator David Foster; Victim/Witness Program Specialists Lesley Slade, Laverne Forest, and Wanda Queen; Criminal Investigators Durand Odom, Mark Crawford, and Nelson Rhone, and Paralegal Specialist Lashone Samuels. Finally, she acknowledged the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Julianne Johnston and Sumit Mallick, who investigated and prosecuted the assault case, and former Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard DiZinno and Robert Eckert, who investigated and prosecuted the homicide case.

Updated September 25, 2017

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 17-205