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Press Release

District Man Sentenced To 38-Year Prison Term For Conspiracy To Commit Murder And Other Charges For Role In Gun Battles Between Rival Crews - Second Defendant Sentenced Earlier To 12 Years In Prison-

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia

     WASHINGTON – William Spriggs, 25, was sentenced today to 38 years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder and other charges stemming from a violent rivalry between two street crews in Southeast Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr.

     Spriggs and Raymond Davis, 21, were found guilty of conspiracy charges in April 2013, following a two-month trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Spriggs also was convicted of charges of first-degree murder while armed, assault with intent to kill while armed, and other gun-related offenses. He was sentenced by the Honorable John Ramsey Johnson.

     Davis also was found guilty of assault with intent to kill while armed and weapons offenses. He was sentenced in June 2013 to a 12-year prison term for his role in the case.

     A third defendant, Deante Harding, 25, was found guilty in April 2013 of conspiracy to assault. Harding was sentenced to time served. All three men are from Washington, D.C.

     The case centered on a series of shootings that occurred in 2010 in the Benning Terrace neighborhood of Southeast Washington. The rivalry involved individuals from the Avenue, an area in Benning Terrace west of 46th Street SE, and individuals from the Circle, a cul-de-sac in the 600 Block of 46th Place SE. Both crews dealt narcotics, possessed firearms, and sought to evade law enforcement. Spriggs, Davis and Harding were part of the Avenue group.

     According to the government’s evidence, during the spring of 2010, individuals from the Avenue traded retaliatory shootings with individuals in the Circle.  Davis, for example, on one occasion shot at an individual coming from the Circle. Also, on May 14, 2010, three Avenue members, including Spriggs and Davis, ran into the Circle and fired multiple gunshots, hitting a Circle crew member.

     Then, on May 30, 2010, Circle members armed themselves and went to the Avenue and shot at individuals. Several minutes later, several Avenue crew members ran up into the Circle, firing their weapons, where they encountered multiple Circle crew members who fired at them. During the shooting, a bystander from the Circle, Antwan Buckner, 32, was shot and killed.

     In its verdict, the jury convicted Spriggs of first-degree murder while armed in the killing of Mr. Buckner, and acquitted Davis of that charge. Harding also was acquitted of some offenses. Harding was arrested in March 2011 and until November 2012 was serving time for a probation violation.

     In separate proceedings, other individuals from the Circle were tried and convicted or pled to crimes related to the murder of Mr. Buckner and an additional murder. 

     In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen praised those who worked on the case from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Fern Rhedrick, Sharon Newman, and Meridith McGarrity; Litigation Technology Specialists Thomas Royal and Kimberly Smith; Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker and  the entire staff of the Victim Witness Assistance Unit, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeff Pearlman and Laura Bach, who investigated and prosecuted the case.


Updated February 19, 2015