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Press Release

District Man Sentenced to 36 Months for Assault with a Dangerous Weapon

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Beat Victim With a Metal U-Lock

           WASHINGTON – Maxim R. Smith, 25, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 36 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for assault with a dangerous weapon, and for beating a man approximately 12 months ago in Northwest Washington, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu announced today.

           Smith was found guilty on June 19, 2019, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Smith was convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon and assault with significant injury while armed. He was sentenced by the Honorable Judge Kimberley S. Knowles.

           “Today’s sentence holds Maxim Smith accountable for brutally beating a man,” said U.S. Attorney Liu. “This prosecution vindicates the principle that everyone in our community deserves the protection of the law.”

           According to the government’s evidence, on August 6, 2018, the victim was driving in his vehicle through Georgetown after a friend’s gathering. As he drove toward Wisconsin Avenue NW on M Street NW, he encountered Smith stopped on his bicycle in the middle of the right turn lane. The victim honked his horn, and Smith yelled expletives at the victim and did not move. The victim then passed the defendant on the left side in his vehicle, and at that point heard a loud thump on the back of his car. Assuming the defendant had hit his car with an object, the victim turned right onto Wisconsin Avenue NW and pulled his car to the side of the road. The victim got out of his car to inspect for damage and to call the police. Smith also turned right onto Wisconsin Avenue NW and rode his bike to Prospect Street. As soon as Smith turned back and saw the victim on the phone, he shouted to the victim, “Are you really calling the police?” and directed a racial slur at him. The victim is a black male from Cameroon, and the defendant is a white male. Smith then rode aggressively back toward the victim and got into a physical altercation with him. Smith then struck the victim on the head with a metal u-lock while yelling racial slurs at him. The victim required 21 stiches to his head as a result of the assault.

           This was a brutal attack accompanied by explicit racial slurs. The Office charged the hate-bias enhancement, the jury hung on that charge, and the Honorable Judge Knowles was asked to consider the hate motivation at sentencing.

           In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. She also acknowledged the work of those who handled the case at the U.S. Attorney’s Office including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jack Korba and Alyse Constantinide.

Updated August 27, 2019

Press Release Number: 19-158