District Man Sentenced To Six Years In Prison For Obstructing Justice In Investigation Of 2011 Murder-Defendant Admits Making False Statements To A Grand Jury-
WASHINGTON – Jefferson Joseph, 23, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to six years and one month in prison after earlier pleading guilty to charges of obstructing justice in a criminal investigation and unlawful entry, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Joseph pled guilty in August 2012 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and was sentenced today by the Honorable Ronna L. Beck.
According to the government’s evidence, Joseph obstructed justice in the investigation into the murder of Jeffrey Covington, 19, who was killed early July 2, 2011 in the 600 block of 46th Place SE. Mr. Covington was shot once in the neck, and the entire murder was captured on video surveillance footage. The government has charged William Faison, 23, with first-degree murder while armed and other offenses in the murder. Mr. Covington’s father, Jeffrey Blount, 42, is charged with obstructing justice, carrying a pistol without a license, and other offenses.
On the video, several individuals can be seen in the area during a craps game. An individual, alleged to be Faison, walked up to Mr. Covington and Blount. The man pushed Mr. Covington and Blount out of the way, pulled out a handgun, and announced a robbery. Blount then began to flee, with the gunman in pursuit. During the chase, Mr. Covington appeared to pull out a handgun, which was broken, and pointed it in the direction of the gunman, apparently to defend his father. The gunman then turned toward Mr. Covington and shot and killed him.
Joseph was among the individuals who would have been in a position to identify the gunman. Joseph can be seen walking to the craps game and backing up as the gunman approached Blount to rob him, and then watching a portion of the shooting before fleeing.
A grand jury investigation commenced shortly after the homicide. Joseph was subpoenaed, and eventually testified twice. In his plea, Joseph acknowledged that he had made numerous false statements to the grand jury in an effort to obstruct the investigation into the murder, including conflicting statements about his sobriety that evening, denying his knowledge of other individuals present for the murder, and conflicting accounts about the nature of his relationship with Faison. He also denied remembering what happened on the night of the murder.
The unlawful entry charge stems from a previously issued Court order that barred Joseph from the area where the murder took place.
Faison and Blount are scheduled to stand trial in July 2013, and both men have pled not guilty to the charges.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Violent Crimes Branch. He also praised the work of Paralegal Specialist Fern Rhedrick and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Melinda Williams and Jeff Pearlman, who have been investigating the case.13-027