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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 8, 2019

District Man Sentenced to Life in Prison With No Possibility of Release in the 2010 Killing of a Government Witness

- Defendant Found Guilty Last Fall in Retrial of Case -

           

            WASHINGTON - Anthony Waters, 51, was sentenced today to life in prison with no possibility of release on a charge of first-degree murder while armed, with aggravating circumstances, in the 2010 killing of a government witness, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

         Waters, of Washington, D.C., was found guilty by a jury in October 2018 of the murder charge and related weapons offenses, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Waters initially was found guilty of these charges in 2012 and sentenced at that time to life in prison with no possibility of release. The judge who heard the case in 2012 subsequently granted a defense motion by Waters seeking a new trial. The retrial resulted in the same outcome before the Honorable Craig Iscoe, who sentenced him today.

         According to the government’s evidence at trial, Waters and the victim, Derrick Harris, 37, knew each other from the 2600 block of Birney Place SE, and were part of a crew in a neighborhood known as Parkchester.  In June 1998, Mr. Harris testified against a member of that crew regarding a 1996 murder that occurred in the Barry Farm area of Southeast Washington. Afterward, Mr. Harris was shunned and marked as a snitch in the neighborhood by many people he knew, including Waters, for cooperating with the authorities.

            For many years, Mr. Harris avoided the neighborhood where he knew that people considered him a traitor, but on June 14, 2010, he returned to the 2600 block of Birney Place to meet a friend.  At this time, Waters and Mr. Harris got into an argument because Waters believed that Mr. Harris was being disrespectful by returning to the neighborhood.  Waters punched Mr. Harris in the face and threatened to kill him if he was still there when Waters returned.  Both men left the scene, but Waters returned and hid behind a building, waiting for the victim to come back to his car.

            Shortly thereafter, at about 9 p.m., when Mr. Harris returned to the neighborhood, Waters came out from his hiding place, wearing a ski mask, and repeatedly shot Derrick Harris.  Mr. Harris died on the scene from his injuries, which included one gunshot wound to the head and five to the back.

            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 efforts of those who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Margaret J. Chriss, Chief of the Special Proceedings Division; Chrisellen Kolb and John Mannarino, Deputy Chiefs of the Appellate Division, Laura Bach, Deputy Chief of the Homicide Section; Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Lucas; Paralegal Specialists Alesha Matthews Yette and Meridith McGarrity; Victim/Witness Advocates Marcia Rinker and Yvonne Bryant; Victim/Witness Services Coordinator LaJune Thames; Supervisory Victim/Witness Services Coordinator Katina Adams-Washington; Litigation Technology Specialists Anisha Bhatia, Paul Howell, and William Henderson; Supervisory Litigation Technology Specialist Leif Hickling, and  Investigative Analysts Zachary McMenamin and William Hamann.

            Finally, they praised the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney S. Vinét Bryant, who indicted the case and prosecuted it at both trials. 

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
19-23
Updated March 8, 2019