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Press Release

District Man Sentenced To 7 ½ Years In Prison For Stabbing Teenager Outside Howard TheatreDefendant Used Anti-Gay Slurs Prior To The Attack; Must Serve Additional Six Months For Separate Assault On A Corrections Officer

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

     WASHINGTON – Ali Jackson, 20, was sentenced today to a 7 ½-year prison term on charges stemming from an attack in which he stabbed a 16-year-old victim after making threatening statements and anti-gay slurs, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).


    Jackson, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty in January 2013 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to a charge of assault with intent to kill. The charge carried a bias enhancement. In addition, Jackson pled guilty to a charge of assault on a police officer stemming from a separate incident involving an attack against a corrections officer.

     The Honorable Patricia A. Broderick sentenced Jackson to the 7 ½-year prison term for the attack and another six months in prison for the incident involving the officer. After serving the eight years of incarceration, Jackson is to be placed on three years of supervised release.

     Two others, also of Washington, D.C., earlier pled guilty and were sentenced for their roles in the events on the night of the stabbing, which took place near the Howard Theatre.

     Jackson’s sister, Alvonica Jackson, 26, pled guilty to simple assault and second-degree theft and was sentenced in March 2013 to a total of 360 days of incarceration, with all but 30 days suspended on the condition that she successfully complete two years of probation. Desmond Campbell, 34, the boyfriend of Alvonica Jackson, pled guilty to simple assault and was sentenced in March 2013 to 180 days of incarceration, with all but 30 days suspended on the condition that he successfully complete two years of probation.

     “Violence fueled by hate tears at the fabric of our society,” said U.S. Attorney Machen.  “It harms not only its direct victims, but spreads fear and intimidation throughout our community.  As this prison sentence demonstrates, in the District of Columbia, we have zero tolerance for violent crimes driven by ignorant prejudice.”

     “With today’s sentence, Ali Jackson must now face the consequences of his violent hate crime,” said Chief Lanier. “We hope that others who might consider committing bias-related offenses will pay attention to today’s sentencing and choose not to follow in Ali Jackson’s footsteps. I applaud the hard-working members of this department for their investigative efforts in helping to make today’s sentencing possible and the support of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their outstanding work in this case.”

     According to the government’s evidence, on June 26, 2012, at about 8:25 p.m., Campbell and Alvonica Jackson entered the Howard Theatre, in the 600 block of T Street NW, and headed to the restrooms. Alvonica Jackson stole $2 from the bathroom, and she and Campbell left.

     Meanwhile, Ali Jackson had remained outside.  He recognized the victim on the street at Georgia and Florida Avenues NW and started a confrontation with the teenager, who was there with a friend. Ali Jackson began using anti-gay slurs and asked a group of men nearby if they had a knife, saying he was about to stab the victim.

     As the victim walked away, Ali Jackson ran down the 600 block of T Street and into an alleyway near the theater. He then came from the alley, toward the victim’s back. Once again using anti-gay slurs, he stated, among other things, “I’m going to kill you.”

     As Ali Jackson got closer, he produced a knife and the victim sprayed him with pepper spray. Campbell then came behind the victim, choking him. Ali Jackson ran up to the victim and stabbed him with a knife three times – in the left arm, the left side of his back, and the left leg. During the stabbing, the victim was attempting to swing his arms at Ali Jackson, but Alvonica Jackson grabbed his arms. The assault stopped when the attackers heard police sirens.

     Campbell and Alvonica Jackson also used slurs during the attack. All three defendants were arrested a short time later.

     The second charge against Ali Jackson stemmed from an incident Dec. 15, 2012 at the District of Columbia Jail in which he punched a corrections officer.

     In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen and Chief Lanier praised the work of the detectives and officers from the MPD who investigated the case. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Kravis, who provided assistance at sentencing, and Paralegal Specialist Allison Daniels. Finally, they commended the work of former Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Chris Dobbie and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jin Park, who prosecuted the case.


Updated February 19, 2015