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Justice News

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

Monday, September 18, 2023

Guilty Pleas Entered in Two Homicide Cases in the District

One Defendant Pleaded Guilty to Both Murders; Second Defendant Pleaded Guilty to His Role in a Separate Killing

            WASHINGTON – Joseph Brown, 33, pleaded guilty today to second degree murder while armed, and Rondell McLeod, 30, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter while armed in the shooting death of 21-year-old Amari Jenkins, on Aug. 18, 2015, in front of St. Luke’s Catholic Church, located at 4925 East Capitol Street, N.E. The pleas were announced by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Acting Chief Pamela Smith, of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).  

            The defendants, both of Washington, D.C., admitted that on the day of the murder, they emerged from a blue van that pulled in front of the church, and fired 28 rounds at Jenkins, before reentering the van and making their escape. 

            In a separate case, Joseph Brown pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter while armed for the shooting of 29-year-old Antwan Baker, on Nov. 12, 2015, in the 5300 block of Clay Terrace, N.E. In that homicide, Brown admitted he emerged from a vehicle and shot Baker six times in the back of the head and neck before fleeing the scene.

            Both defendants will be sentenced on Dec. 4, 2023, by D.C. Superior Court Judge Marisa J. Demeo. McLeod is currently serving an 11-year sentence for federal robbery charges brought in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, and the government will argue at sentencing that McLeod’s voluntary manslaughter sentence should run consecutive to the federal robbery sentence.

            In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Graves and Acting Chief Smith commended the work of the officers and detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department who investigated the case. They also thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael P. Spence and Andrea Coronado, who prosecuted the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
Updated September 20, 2023