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Press Release

District Man Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Hitting Transgender Woman While Driving a Stolen Car

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Admitted Being on PCP and Xanax at the Time

            WASHINGTON – Startwaune Anderson, 19, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to five years in prison for hitting and critically injuring a transgender woman while driving a stolen car and on PCP, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu announced.


            Anderson pled guilty in November 2017, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to aggravated assault while armed.  The plea agreement, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for an agreed-upon sentence of five to six years in prison. The Honorable Anthony Epstein accepted the plea and sentenced the defendant accordingly. Following his prison term, Anderson will be placed on five years of supervised release.


            According to a proffer of facts filed at the time of the plea, in the early morning hours of July 5, 2017, Anderson found car keys to a 2014 Ford Focus hatchback in the 1200 block of Morse Street NE. He identified the vehicle that matched the keys and drove off without the owner’s permission. At approximately 3:15 a.m. on July 5, Anderson drove across the intersection of Fourth and K Streets NE, running over the victim, a transgender woman.


            Anderson fled the scene without checking on the well-being of the person he had struck. A couple of hours later, he was seen crashing into the fence at Gallaudet University. A witness reported seeing him exit the vehicle with a bottle of vodka in hand. He then fled the scene.


            On July 6, 2017, Anderson was interviewed by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and admitted to having been under the influence of PCP and Xanax. He also admitted having taken and driven the Ford Focus without the owner’s permission.


            The victim suffered critical injuries, including bleeding on the brain, multiple rib fractures, a lacerated spleen, and a punctured lung. She was sedated and on a respirator for a couple of weeks and still must undergo outpatient rehabilitation treatment.


            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). She also expressed appreciation for the work of those who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Tiffany Fogle, Victim/Witness Advocate Diana Lim, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kerkhoff, and the Violent Repeat Offender Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.


            Finally, she commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Monica Trigoso, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Updated January 30, 2018

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 18-23