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Press Release

District Woman Sentenced to Prison for Hate Crime Targeting Member of the Asian Community

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Prosecutors Charged Bias-Enhanced Threats

           WASHINGTON – Carolyn Heard, 64, of Washington D.C., was sentenced on June 1, 2021, to a term of imprisonment based on charges stemming from a hate crime targeting a member of the Asian community that took place in Northwest Washington in April 2021, U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips announced.

            Heard pleaded guilty to one count of threats to do bodily harm, a charge that, with a hate-bias enhancement, carries a maximum penalty of 270 days of incarceration. District of Columbia Superior Court Associate Judge Steven Wellner sentenced Heard to the maximum penalty of 270 days, suspending all but 90 days of incarceration. Following her prison term, Heard will be placed on probation for 18 months. Heard also was sentenced in two other pending cases.

            According to the government’s evidence, Heard approached the victim, a member of the Asian community in Washington, D.C., outside a neighborhood store and, while armed with a knife, threatened to kill the victim, saying, “I will kill you; you have coronavirus; go back to China.”

             In announcing the sentence, Acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Anna Forgie, who prosecuted the hate crime matter, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Victor Suh and Raha Mokhtari, who prosecuted other charges on which the defendant was sentenced.

Updated June 9, 2021

Hate Crimes