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Press Release

District Man Sentenced to 60 Years in Prison for Killings of Two Roommates in Northwest Washington

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Bodies Were Discovered Over Four-Day Period

            WASHINGTON – Jeffrey Neal, 25, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 60 years in prison on charges stemming from the slayings of his two roommates, whose bodies were found at their residence in Northwest Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

 

            Neal was found guilty in July 2017 of two counts of first-degree murder while armed, with aggravating circumstances, and related offenses. The verdict followed a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He was sentenced by the Honorable Chief Judge Robert E. Morin. Following his prison term, Neal will be placed on five years of supervised release.

 

            According to the government’s evidence, on June 12, 2014, at approximately 11:35 a.m., officers with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) were dispatched to a house in the 1800 block of Eighth Street NW for a report of an unconscious person. The body of Leon Young, 22, was discovered in the attic, naked except for a black plastic bag tied around his head. Neal was arrested the following day and charged with Mr. Young’s murder.

 

            On June 16, 2014, police returned to the house and discovered the body of Delano Wingfield, 23, in a shallow grave in the backyard. He was naked except for a pair of socks.

 

            An investigation determined that both men were beaten multiple times in the head with a hammer.  During the investigation, police learned that Mr. Young and Mr. Wingfield were childhood friends with the defendant. When the police interviewed Neal, he confessed to killing Mr. Young. He claimed he killed Mr. Young in self-defense, after Mr. Young allegedly confessed to killing Mr. Wingfield. Neal claimed he hit Mr. Young twice in the head with a hammer in self-defense.  However, the autopsy of Mr. Young revealed that Mr. Young had been hammered in the head at least 26 times.  Some of those blows were after the black plastic bag had been placed on Mr. Young’s head. Further, according to the government’s evidence, DNA evidence of Mr. Wingfield’s blood was found in various locations in Neal’s bedroom.  Also, Neal told detectives that he left a pair of socks on Mr. Young’s body.  However, Mr. Young was not discovered with socks.  It was Mr. Wingfield’s body that had on a pair of socks.

 

            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 also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences; the FBI’s Cellular Analysis Survey Team; the FBI’s DNA Casework Unit; the District of Columbia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner; Bode Cellmark Forensics, and the New Smyrna Beach Police Department of New Smyrna Beach, Fla.

 

            They acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Sharon Donovan, Deputy Chief of the Homicide Section; Chrisellen Kolb, Deputy Chief of the Appellate Division; Michael Ambrosino, Special Counsel for DNA and Forensic Evidence Litigation; Litigation Technology Specialist Leif Hickling; Paralegal Specialist Kelly Blakeney; former Paralegal Specialists Fern Rhedrick, Amoret Vanterpool, and Vanessa Trent-Valentine; Marcia Rinker, David Foster, LaJune Thames, and Katina Adams-Washington, all of the Victim/Witness Assistance Unit; Criminal Investigators John Marsh, Durand Odom, and Zachary McMenamin; Forensic Operation/Program Specialist Benjamin Kagan-Guthrie, Contract Specialist Sallie Rynas; Interns Hayley Poindexter and Simone Unwalla, and former intern Benjamin Symons.

 

            Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shana L. Fulton and Veronica Sanchez, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

 

Updated October 30, 2017

Topic
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 17-236