WASHINGTON –James Young, 25, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 45 years in prison on murder and other charges stemming from the slaying of a man in Southeast Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Young and a co-defendant, Tyrone Michael Hight, were found guilty in April 2018 of first-degree felony murder while armed, second-degree murder while armed, armed robbery, first-degree burglary while armed, tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice, and related weapons offenses. The verdicts followed a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Young was sentenced by the Honorable Milton C. Lee.
Hight, 26, also of Washington, D.C., is awaiting sentencing.
According to the government’s evidence, at approximately 7 a.m. on Aug. 31, 2014, the victim, Willard Carlos Shelton, drove to the 2500 block of Pomeroy Road SE to purchase narcotics. About10 minutes after Mr. Shelton arrived, Hight and Young produced firearms, attempted to rob him, and then pistol-whipped him. Hight and Young then fired several shots at Mr. Shelton, who attempted to escape the onslaught of bullets.
One of the bullets struck Mr. Shelton in the abdomen, knocking him to the ground. Once the gunshots ended, Young went over to Mr. Shelton and took his personal effects, including his wallet and keys. Young then pointed a gun at Mr. Shelton’s head, but this time he did not fire. Mr. Shelton, 38, of Alexandria, Va., later died from his injuries.
Following the shooting, Hight and Young fled the scene, broke into a nearby apartment, and hid the firearms used to shoot Mr. Shelton. Young later attempted to obstruct justice by making threatening statements directed at a government witness. Hight later attempted to obstruct justice by convincing someone who was not a witness to the shooting to make false statements to law enforcement about the murder.
Hight and Young were arrested in September 2014 and have 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 (MPD). They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Liaison and Operations Manager Linda McDonald; Paralegal Specialists Debra Joyner, Sharon Newman, and Kelly Blakeley; Criminal Investigators John Marsh and Zachary McMenamin; Litigation Technology Specialists Leif Hickling, Anisha Bhatia, and Jeanie Latimore-Brown; Victim/Witness Services Coordinators La June Thames and Katina Adams-Washington; Witness Security Specialists M. Laverne Perry, Wanda Queen, and Tanya Via, and Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker.
Finally, they expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard Barker and Laura Crane, who investigated and prosecuted the case, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kendra Briggs, Jeffrey Nestler, Thomas Saunders, and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Eckert, who investigated and indicted the case.