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Justice News

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

Friday, November 16, 2018

District Man Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Murder of Woman in Southeast Washington Apartment

Victim Was Grandmother of Defendant’s Child

            WASHINGTON – Kevin L. Smith, 47, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 25 years in prison for killing a woman last December in her apartment in Southeast Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Smith pled guilty in August 2018, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to a charge of second-degree murder while armed. The plea, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for an agreed-upon prison sentence of 15 to 27 years. The Honorable Juliet McKenna accepted the plea and sentenced Smith accordingly. Following his prison term, Smith will be placed on five years of supervised release.

            According to the government’s evidence, in the early hours of Dec. 2, 2017, the defendant had a fight with the mother of his child, inside their apartment in the 1700 block of 16th Street SE.  The fight ended with the woman kicking the defendant out of the apartment for good.  The woman’s mother, Valerie Coleman, who also lived there, supported her daughter’s decision.  Hours later, at approximately 8 a.m. the same day, Smith came back.  Inside the bedroom where the mother of his child and their young daughter were sleeping, he woke up the mother of his child by striking her face with a handgun.  He then went to Valerie Coleman’s bedroom and shot her twice in the head.  After the shooting, Smith left the apartment.  The Metropolitan Police Department arrived shortly afterward, and Ms. Coleman, 55, was pronounced dead on the scene.  Police found spent .380-caliber cartridge casings from the bedroom where Ms. Coleman was slain.

            Later that day, Smith was arrested in Northeast Washington. A search of his person resulted in the recovery of the .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun that was used to kill Ms. Coleman.  Smith has been in custody ever since.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu and Chief Newsham commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. They acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker and Paralegal Specialist Debra Joyner. Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jin Park and Ahmed Baset, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
Updated November 16, 2018