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Press Release

District Man Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison For Two Home Invasions in Northeast Washington

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Sexually Assaulted a Woman in One of the Burglaries

            WASHINGTON – Tavon Barber, 20, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 40 years in prison on charges stemming from a pair of home invasions he committed within a roughly 20-hour period in Northeast Washington, including one in which he sexually assaulted a woman, U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips announced.

            Barber was found guilty in November 2014, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, of 21 counts, including first-degree burglary, first-degree burglary while armed, assault with intent to commit first-degree sexual abuse while armed, three counts of third-degree sexual abuse while armed, three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, and related offenses.  He was sentenced by the Honorable Russell F. Canan. Upon completion of his prison term, Barber will be placed on five years of supervised release. He also will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life once he is released from prison.

            According to the government’s evidence at trial, on June 4, 2013, between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., Barber broke into a home in the 1100 block of 6th Street NE through an unlocked kitchen window.  At the time, two people were inside the house asleep. Once inside, Barber stole two laptops, a book bag full of various items and car keys. He then used the car keys to steal the car, which belonged to one of the residents.

            Approximately 20 hours later, at approximately 4:30 a.m., Barber and an accomplice broke into a home in the 2400 block of Second Street NE, armed with a loaded .40-caliber, semi-automatic pistol.  Wearing something to conceal their faces, they went upstairs to the bedroom where the owners of the home, a husband and wife, were sleeping.

            Barber turned on the lights and woke the homeowners from sleep. He demanded money, and told them to put their heads under their pillows.  Barber then sexually assaulted the wife, while holding the husband hostage at gunpoint.  As Barber sexually assaulted the wife, the husband lunged at him, enabling his wife to escape.  Barber and the husband struggled from the second floor, down the stairs, and to the back of the house.  Once there, Barber fired a shot at the husband’s head. The bullet missed the husband and entered the wall above his head.

            Barber then fled, with his accomplice, out the back of the house. The intruders left with two iPhones, a MacBook, a laptop and the husband’s wallet.

            Barber was arrested on June 29, 2013 and has been in custody ever since. The second man earlier pled guilty to charges in the case.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Phillips commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). He also expressed appreciation for the work of those who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Michael Ambrosino, Special Counsel for DNA and Forensic Evidence Litigation; Paralegal Specialists Jason Manuel and Benjamin Kagan-Guthrie; Victim/Witness Advocate Veronica Vaughan; Victim/Witness Security Specialists Katina Adams-Washington, David Foster, and Wanda Queen, and Litigation Technology Specialist Thomas R. Royal. Finally, he commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sharon Donovan and Lindsay Suttenberg, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Updated February 4, 2016

Press Release Number: 16-004