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Press Release

District Man Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison For Robbing Man in Southeast Washington

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Victim Had Just Gotten Off Bus, Was Returning Home from Work

            WASHINGTON – Donte Thomas, 25, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to seven years in prison for an armed robbery he committed last year in Southeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips announced.

            Thomas was found guilty by a jury in November 2015 of charges of armed robbery and possession of a firearm during a crime of violence.  The verdict followed a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.  He was sentenced by the Honorable John McCabe.  Following his prison term, Thomas will be placed on five years of supervised release.

            According to the government’s evidence, the attack took place about 12:30 a.m. on May 13, 2015.  The victim had just gotten off a bus at 18th Street and Alabama Avenue SE and was walking home from work.  As he walked, he felt as if he was being watched.  He then turned around and saw the defendant, a person he had known from childhood, standing behind him and pointing a handgun at him.

            Thomas demanded, “Where the money at?”  The victim dropped his backpack and laid face down on the ground.  Thomas ordered the victim to give him his money and his diamond stud earrings.  A second suspect then made the victim unlock his cell phone with his password.  Thomas then approached the victim, pressed the muzzle of the gun against his head and instructed him not to move.  The assailants then fled on foot.

            The victim remained on the ground for a short period of time before getting up and going to his residence.  Taken from him during the robbery were: his cellphone, stud earrings, LG headphones, a Bluetooth wireless headphone set, book bag, work clothes, $200 in tips from his job, and his keys.  The victim reported the crime the next morning.  Following his interview at the Seventh District Police Station, a detective drove the victim home.  While they were en route, they saw the defendant walking.  Once Thomas saw them, he took off running and a foot chase followed.  Thomas ran into an occupied house and was found hiding in a closet.  A single diamond stud earring was found in his back pocket and the victim’s cell phone was found in the closet where the defendant was sitting.  No one else has been arrested in the case.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Phillips commended the work of the officers and detectives from the Seventh District of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), who investigated the case.  He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Daphne Nelson and Gary Nails; Litigation Technology Specialist Joshua Ellen, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah C. Santiago, who prosecuted the case.

Updated February 19, 2016

Press Release Number: 16-024